The conflicting statements emerging from the body charged with running the game in this country are farcical and totally unnecessary.
If the tenure of the next Bafana Bafana head coach is as shambolic as the South African Football Association’s presentation of their search for a new leader, then heaven help the men’s senior national team.
Benni McCarthy does seem set to take over as head coach, but he would also be forgiven for walking away, after observing the behaviour of Safa over the last couple of weeks.
The latest episode of high farce from the organisation charged with running the game in this country began when they declared that a new Bafana head coach would be named on April 25, after Safa’s technical comitttee had presented their choices to the Safa National Executive Committee.
Carlos Queiroz was widely said to be top of that list, but it all started to go pear-shaped as Safa announced on April 24 that they would not, after all, be announcing a Bafana head coach the following day, in a statement blaming “global Covid-19 travel issues”.
It then emerged that Queiroz was not, after all, going to be the next Bafana coach, having apparently turned down Safa’s approach. This begs several questions, not least ‘why are you saying you are going to announce a coach if no one has yet agreed to take over?’
The rumours surrounding McCarthy grew stronger as the following week progressed, with Safa CEO Tebogo Motlhante confidently announcing on Friday that they had their man.
“We have concluded and finalised all the outstanding matters and we will announce the new coach next week,” said the Safa CEO in another statement.
Safa, however, then released a totally bizarre statement on Sunday, not denying that McCarthy was going to take over, but saying they did not want it to seem like, with the reports of his likely appointment, that they were trying to derail AmaZulu’s title bid.
No one suggested they were, and the level of paranoia, as well as an apparent upset at being scooped, is staggering.
And then there is this section: “SAFA has always stated that the Technical Committee will submit their final recommendations to the SAFA NEC, the highest decision-making body, which will finally make the announcement once the process is concluded.”
But your own CEO literally said the process was “concluded” on Friday!
And then, of course, comes another pertinent question. If Benni McCarthy is the new Bafana head coach, what on earth does that have to do with “global Covid-19 travel issues’? Bafana’s all-time leading goalscorer is, of course, currently in Durban and could drive to Safa house, if necessary, in about four and a half hours.
The whole shambolic situation cannot improve public faith that anyone can turn Bafana Bafana around, if administrative matters are being handled in such a cock-a-hoop manner.
I do think that Benni McCarthy would be a good choice to lead Bafana, a young, ambitious coach, who would have the respect of the Bafana squad, and who would also be prepared to fight his corner, if necessary taking on his own employers.
Bafana need a McCarthy more than a yes-man who simply does the association’s bidding. Hopefully this deal gets done and McCarthy is announced this week. But in the case of Safa, don’t bet on it!