#IssuesAtStake: Bafana needs the Rassie factor

I am happy to report that I am still able to venture into a sort of contemplative zone where I reflect on things of great importance.

In fact, these periods of reflection are so profound (I say this in all modesty) that I firmly believe that I can still change the world.

I have the answers, radical as they are, but no one wants to listen.

Even my better half doesn’t understand my quiet wisdom, saying she’ll emigrate in a hurry if anything comes of my suggestion that maybe I should run for president to fix our country.

Watching the sport on the box over the weekend, another random puzzle came up that under normal circumstances wouldn’t have given my nimble thinking any problems.

This one did.

Riding on the euphoria that two South African teams – the Bulls and Stormers – were about to face off in the United Rugby Championships final, my sense of South African pride kicked in (yes, I know, a very rare occurrence these days given the Mickey Mouse status we’ve been occupying on the world stage lately).

But it was sports. The other day we beat the British Lions and we are still the Rugby World Champions after all.

Our female cricketers have always been and still are world champions – even our women’s team recently played in the World Cup final.

Our athletes and rowers win world and Olympic medals, as do our swimmers.

We produce boxing champions…the list goes on. When it comes to sport, we are a winning nation.

So why is our football, the supposedly biggest sport in South Africa, so completely rubbish?

We should at least be represented at the FIFA World Cup, but since 2010, where we qualified just because we hosted the event, we’ve stayed away. We’re even out of the Africa Cup of Nations, for heaven’s sake. This is not the case with Guinea, Botswana and Libya and others. How pathetic is that?

Something is seriously wrong, but I don’t know what. Certainly, we have an abundance of talents to develop to become world champions.

Should we blame the coaches? It won’t be fair since our football bosses won’t allow any of them to set up and do the job. If I’m not mistaken, we’ve had about 16 coaches over the past 20 years.

Bafana’s latest man at the helm, Belgian Hugo Broos, was probably right when he said last week that the level of the Premier Soccer League was simply too low to produce world-class players. He will probably leave very soon too.

The problem therefore seems to be a lack of vision on the part of our football administrators who have been left behind as the sport has moved into a new sphere of professionalism. Instead, they’ll likely lean on another coaching change they’re praying has a magic wand to bring us back into the mainstream.

That’s not going to happen, so for now forget about South Africa’s upcoming entry into the big leagues.

It’s obvious that we need a complete overhaul of our strategies – and forward-thinking management to remedy the situation and ensure that football is there to give the best teams in the world a helping hand.

While he can’t be considered a founder of football, perhaps they should consider bringing in Springbok maestro Rassie Erasmus to at least show them how to develop and run a world-beating culture.


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