• Safa’s puzzling search to replace Shakes

    Shakes Mashaba

    The search to replace Shakes Mashaba as national team coach has been puzzling from start to well, wherever it is now in the process, writes WADE PRETORIUS.

    Shakes Mashaba is gone. Or is he? His case against Safa is ongoing with both parties believing they have a ‘water tight’ case. His antics on that fateful day are well documented but did his actions constitute ‘Gross Misconduct/Professional Misconduct’ and/or ‘Gross Insubordination/Professional Misconduct’ and/or a ‘Violation of the Safa Communications Policy’?

    It’s up to the courts to decide but ask yourself this? If you, for example, refused to shake hands with your boss after a tense meeting, would you automatically be shown the door and not be allowed back? Without compensation?

    Despite Mashaba’s legal advisors warning Safa of appointing a successor while the seat is still warm, they are forging ahead. And rightly so, the team needs a coach as they face qualification battles in three competitions this year.

    The criteria for the job was recently released and once again, eyebrows around the country were raised. Some of the qualities required are ‘excellent understanding of the South African playing philosophy’, a ‘good track record’ and ‘international coaching experience, especially African competition with a minimum of five to 10 years’. Which coach qualifies for the job based on these requirements? What is the definition of ‘good’ when it comes to a track record and then even more thought-provoking, what is the definitive answer when it comes to describing the ‘playing philosophy’ in SA? The questions are literally endless but it does grow tiresome, so we move on.

    The panel to select this new coach? Benni McCarthy, Lucas Radebe, Farouk Khan, Clive Barker, Buti Mathathe, Neil Tovey, Natasha Tsichlas, Anna Nyman, Elvis Shishana, Dennis Mumble and Danny Jordaan. Excuse the ignorance but I’m sure many others would’ve had to jump on to Google to identify a couple of names on the esteemed panel.

    Whether including the likes of former Bafana superstars McCarthy and Radebe were done to keep them quiet in a ‘friends close, enemies closer’ kind of way remains to be seen. One will struggle to be critical of their own employers.

    And then came the curious tweet from the Bafana Bafana account … ‘Some applicants for Bafana job: Roberto Mancini, Trapattoni, Hassan Shihata, Hugo Brooks [sic], Samson Siasia, Lothar Mattheus, Bernd Schuster.

    What is the purpose of ‘leaking’ these candidates? Do the likes of Mancini (previously in charge of Manchester City and Inter Milan) or Giovanni Trapattoni (formerly the boss of Ireland’s national team) qualify based on the need for African experience? What about Lothar Mattheus? The great German defender turned coach, whose most recent job was head coach of European juggernauts Bulgaria, which lasted 361 days back in 2010-11.

    Why bother getting fans in a frenzy? Which other country’s administrators tweet like this? Conducts a job search like this? It baffles the mind.

    The process of replacing Shakes has been anything but smooth, and on current evidence, there is little to suggest the issues will be ironed out. There have been almost 20 Bafana coaching changes but very few in the boardroom – can it always be the fault of the coach? Surely not …

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