After reports that SA coach Gordon Igesund could be replaced by Carlos Queiroz, the president of Safa has responded and also revealed his plans to improve the level of soccer
However the president's exact words "at the moment" will do little to quieten the speculation that Safa want Igesund out of the job by July. That is when 2014 Fifa World Cup working coaches could become available again.
“I am aware that there is speculation surrounding Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund. I read in the news that this coach or that coach is coming to take over from Gordon. Well, I want to say that, at the moment, there is no vacancy,” Jordaan told the official Safa website.
Here follows Jordaan's plans to overhaul Safa after a meeting with the NEC:
• An increased emphasis on the development of youth teams and women’s football.
• The reintroduction of inter-provincial tournaments for men and women
• Tightening of lower league regulations to improve standards.
• The creation of football academies in all nine provinces
• A major training programme for scouts and coaches to enhance their abilities to improve talent identification across the country
• A greater emphasis on scientific research to improve player performance. Part of this programme will be in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and other institutions of higher learning.
• The strengthening of our club licensing system to ensure proper governance and to promote development within the club itself.
“We have thrown away the drawing board and are starting on a new slate,” said Dr. Jordaan. “If we are to have a national team that can compete with the best in the world, then we have to strengthen development at all levels in order to produce players capable of beating the best in the world.”
However let's hope that Safa is realistic that such plans take at least 10 years to progress, and one can't hold the current (or next) Bafana coach responsible. The likes of Igesund need to work with what they have from past development structures.
“We will be working harder to identify and develop promising young women to help them achieve their full potential,” he said. “We intend to place considerable emphasis on school sport and junior leagues,” Jordaan added.
Dennis Mumble, Safa’s chief executive spoke about the cost factor for the improvements to be made.
“We will fund this by approaching our sponsors, working with government at all levels, by seeking assistance from Fifa and Caf and the National Lotteries Board. We are confident that this money will be found because it is so obviously important to all of South Africa. The future of South African football is riding on this, if we are to achieve our objective of consistently being among the top three teams in Africa and the top 20 in the world,” said Mumble.
However one wonders why there's such a desperate call for funds when SA should already be reaping the benefits of hosting the Fifa 2010 World Cup, or even better, had better prepared their development long before 2010.
On an optimistic note that's why Jordaan has arrived, to correct the mistakes of former Safa regimes. In terms of the current Bafana Bafana team, we'd have to wait to see if Safa has also learnt from the previous mistake of changing coaches too often.