Shambles in SA Soccer

Sport on by Mogan Segadavan


THOSE who are not so young will remember the time when the boy with the ball or bat got first pick (and to be captain) when teams were chosen.
And there was always the useless kid no one wanted in the team. He was eventually picked as a goalkeeper or to field behind the wicket keeper.
Today the useless kid would become a soccer administrator.
How else can you explain the bungling that takes place at Safa HQ.
The Vodcom League was scheduled to kick off a fortnight ago but was called off at the 11th hour because the clubs had not received their players’ cards.
This from a fully-staffed (and no doubt well-paid) office in Johannesburg.
The start was postponed to last weekend but nobody had an idea who they were scheduled to play.
 Would they start with the first match on the fixture list or would they play the match originally scheduled for last week? Up to the 11th hour nobody knew.
Last Thursday the media spokesman for the municipality Cupido Baron sent out an e-mail saying Bay Stars, who the municipality was supporting, would play OR Tambo (the second fixture) the following day.
A second e-mail followed not long afterwards saying they would be playing the original fixture for Friday (against Matta Milan). This was the sensible thing.
But wait. This week Bay Stars are scheduled to play the original fixture against OR Tambo which means all the fixtures for the rest of the season would have to be adjusted.
More drama followed this weekend when Bafana Bafana played the Nations Cup qualifier against Sierra Leone.
The debacle is well documented.
Bafana went into the game knowing their fate was out of their hands, in a matter of speaking.
If Niger beat Egypt they would top the log and Bafana would be out even if they won.
In the pre-match build-up there were howls of protest from the Safa camp because Egypt were going to play what was essentially their u-23 team because if they won they would not qualify. The Pharaohs were accused of planning to throw the game. However they thrashed Niger 3-0 in a match which was played at the same time as the Bafana- Sierra Leone game.
When news of the score reached Nelspruit, Bafana thought they would be through (to the Nations Cup) if they drew.
Instead of following Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s advice to the Springboks to “moer hulle” they did everything to slow the game down with goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune the main culprit.
However the s*** hit the fan when CAF applied Article 14 of the African Nations Cup regulations to eliminate Bafana although they finished at the top of the log on goal-difference.
Rule 14.1 states that in case of equality of points between two or more teams, after all the group matches, a greater number of points obtained in the matches between the concerned teams will determine the group winner.
 Safa has lodged an official protest but they do not have a leg to stand.
Surely with a top- heavy administration someone should have read the rules before the match?

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