Bafana Bafana coach position a poisoned chalice
Certainly, the job cannot be a great advertisement on any CV.
Bafana Bafana players during the South African national soccer team training session. (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)
Why, we are forced to ask, has the appointment of a new Bafana Bafana coach by the South African Football Association become veiled in such furtive secrecy?
And add a second question: what is Safa’s fascination with trawling almost every available foreign mentor in the vain hope that this will miraculously breathe new fire into the national side?
It is not as if we, as a footballing nation, can afford the £10 million a year Manchester United pay Jose Mourinho … and from his patchy record with the Old Trafford giants this season, would likely not want him anyway, even if the price was heavily discounted.
Since Stanley “Screamer” Tshabalala became the first Bafana coach in 1992, up to Shakes Mashaba being axed in December‚ we have had 23 full-time and caretaker coaches guiding the national team, with mixed success.
The position has, by this history alone, become enough of a poisoned chalice to deter even the most optimistic potential applicants. Certainly, the job cannot be a great advertisement on any CV.
As South Africans and passionate football followers, surely the coach is just another cog in the overall machine? It is time for Safa to realise this and embrace our realities.