There is an urgent need to investigate a fundamental restructuring of South African football.

By Staff Reporters

Trouble, like a witch’s cauldron, is boiling over at the South African Football Association (Safa). The rumblings that have played out in public are nothing short of a revolt against its president, Danny Jordaan. His fight for survival might come to naught following accusations by some of his colleagues of corrupting the organisation and causing it to lose its envisioned focal point, direction and integrity. Some of those who made these accusations have either been suspended or removed altogether from the association. As the pre-election excessively emotional and dramatic behaviour gains momentum, Safa’s former CEO Dennis Mumble came out with guns blazing and blasted Jordaan. He accused Jordaan of an unfailing use of Safa’s legal division to disrupt other candidates’ campaigns for the position of the organisation’s presidency. Mumble’s accusations come after Safa vice-president Ria Ledwaba was forced to put on hold her presidency campaign launch after getting threats of expulsion or suspension.
“During an election campaign, people have to express their criticism on the current holder of the position and elements of his leadership that they feel have failed but also provide views of where they’d like to take the organisation,” mumble told Newzroom Afrika. “In 2018, when Ace Ncobo ran for the position of Safa president and I was still Safa CEO, along with those who worked under me, were pressured by Jordaan to process about 31 charges against Ace Ncobo because he was not happy with what Ace and his supporters had to say.”

Former soccer stars take a shot at Safa
Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs legend Doctor Khumalo has lambasted the regression of the national team under the current leadership at Safa. Khumalo, who won the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations, is widely considered one of the nation’s greatest-ever players. And reflecting on the most successful period of South African football, he asked why the methods of success during the golden era were deviated from. Speaking at what was meant to be the press conference for Ledwada to accept her nomination, Khumalo waxed lyrical about the legendary local figures who painted the colourful era of South African football – and whom he feels have been cast aside. While addressing a wide range of topics, from media being blocked from having access to the national team as in the past, he asked the question why nothing has been built since their early success after readmission to Fifa back in 1992. “We have, for those who don’t understand… in South Africa, all our accolades, all that we have achieved was through our own coaches, Bra Shakes [Mashaba], remember the first coach to qualify the Under-23s for the Olympics,” Khumalo said in his passionate speech. “Clive Barker, 1996, and he took us where? To the World Cup. Jomo Sono, 2002, Trott Moloto… And what did we do? We only suppressed Pitso [Mosimane] because we thought he was a failure.

“But it took Senegal eight years to believe in Cisse and today he is the champion. Why can’t we believe in our own? Is it because of poor leadership? Then, there should be a change. This is a country of champions, we cannot afford to be saying, Fish, Lucas, Doctor wow ’96. It’s 26 years ago, nothing has happened.” Khumalo said the goalposts have been shifted in terms of what is deemed as success for the current national team and leadership, insinuating that the standards have dropped and a lack of results is down to poor leadership where Safa and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) do not work in tandem.
“We only strive not to win, now to qualify, this is our hope as a country. He used to say to us, they might be playing in bigger leagues, they might be earning a lot of money – the world knows them. But what I saw when we played France was embarrassing,” he continued. “We [my generation] played against England, we played against France, we played against Germany, but through leadership, there’s only one thing that we were told in the dressing room, ‘the difference is the national anthem but they are like you guys’. And we went out and dug deep because he said we’re not representing your friends or yourselves but the nation. “So, if the nation is in crisis, what’s supposed to be done? Change is needed. Change is needed because he said it, may his soul rest in peace. So, if it happens that there should be change and a new structure takes over, please, do not disrespect or disregard the efforts of the custodians of football in this country. “Why can’t we use our own? The likes of Bra Shakes, Screamer Shabalala, Clive Barker, Jomo Sono and the list is endless, serve in this committee for you to guide anyone who comes in.
“We have a current coach [Hugo Broos] whom I respect, why is it that he can’t meet his colleagues in the PSL? Because there’s no leadership, there’s no cohesion. Why did Clive manage to talk to all the coaches, why did Bra Shakes manage to talk to all the coaches when he was a coach? “We went to the DRC, we had to live for five days with Coke and bread because we couldn’t eat their food. Is that not sacrifice?” asked Khumalo.

“So, why can’t we be part of the structures? Why can’t the likes of Shakes be part of the structure? How do we expect football to be better in South Africa if people who walked the path can’t be part of it?
“How are you, in your right frame of mind, lambast a legend that is being respected in England and still honoured, if we don’t do that in South Africa… but what we do, we chop and criticise them because they know how to do it, when to do it and why to do it. “So, I’m saying with the change, let’s consider our ancestors that made this game to be what it is today,” added Khumalo. Siyabonga Nomvethe, the PSL’s all-time leading goal-scorer insisted that former players are the best for taking the game forward, as football administrators. The Bafana legend believes South Africa and other African countries should entrust former players with leading their football associations. The former Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates striker has hailed the election of Samuel Eto’o as Cameroon Football Federation president and is impressed with how the retired striker is running the organisation. Eto’o has made some bold decisions, including appointing his former Cameroon teammate Rigobert Song as the Indomitable Lions’ permanent head coach. “It is a big thing and we appreciate that happening, especially because they were big players in their time,” Nomvethe told The Citizen. “They played at the top level and made their names.”
Safa is currently led by a former politician in Jordaan and there had been calls in the past for Bafana legend, Lucas Radebe, to run for the presidency. Nomvethe, who is currently serving as AmaZulu FC assistant coach, strongly believes that retired footballers should be running football associations in order for them to apply the knowledge they gained during their playing days. “It is important for people like them to get into leadership positions in their local associations and impart the knowledge they have acquired,” the former Udinese and Salernitana star added. “It brings us back to the fact that former players are the best for taking our game forward. Their progress is inspiring us that we need to take ownership of our football.” – and

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