The South African Football Association last Friday confirmed what had become one of the worst-kept secrets ever, reappointing Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira as Bafana bafana Coach. Parreira vacated the post last April to be with his sick wife, who has since overcome her illness.
The furore that has accompanied the performances of the National team has left South Africans more concerned about the looming World Cup, with Bafana just not able to get it right on the pitch and dropping to never before seen lows. Bafana are ranked 85th in the latest Fifa World rankings.
While the musical chairs played by coaches is nothing new for most soccer fans, South Africa now has the distinction of having called on the services of three national coaches, twice.
Shakes Mashaba was at the helm in 1992 and ten years later from 2002 to 2003. Jomo Sono was appointed to the post in both 1998 and 2003, and now Carlos Alberto Parreira, who was in charge in 2007 to 2008, returns to the fray.
But the question begs to be asked. How much influence does a coach really have? It seems soccer administrators globally, have decided that coaches should be blamed for losses, and players be praised for victories.
But as Albert Einstein is reported to have said: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” If this statement does indeed hold true, then perhaps it’s time to change the status quo, and who knows? We could see players perform as though the livelyhoods depend on it.
Perhaps it is too much to hope for, because yet again, for all his errors, it is only the now jobless Joel Santana who has paid the price.
It seems to me, the more things change, the more they (and the people involved) stay the same.
Below is the list of Bafana Bafana coaches since South Africa’s readmission to International Sport:
1992 Stanley Tshabalala
1992 Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba
1992-1994 Augusto Palacios
1994-1997 Clive Barker
1998 Jomo Sono
1998 Philippe Troussier
1998-2000 Trott Moloto
2000-2002 Carlos Queiroz
2002 Jomo Sono
2002-2003 Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba
2004 April “Styles” Phumo
2004-2005 Stuart Baxter
2005-2006 Ted Dumitru
2006 Pitso Mosimane
2007-2008 Carlos Alberto Parreira
2008-2009 Joel Natalino Santana
2009 Carlos Alberto Parreira
3 Events for the Weekend
1) It’s time for the Annual Nedbank Soweto City Marathon. The race starts at 06h00 on Sunday, 1st November in Soweto. For further information please contact: Athletics South Africa +27 880 5800.
2) The Midvaal, 90.6fm Cycle Challenge takes place on Sunday, 1st November at Suikerbosrand, in Meyerton. There are 10km, 40km and 80km races.. Registration on the day starts at 06h00, and the race starts at 08h00. Entry costs R100 pp. You can also register online by visiting www.cyclab.com
3) The final of the Coca-Cola T20 competition will see Hoërskool Randburg up against King Edward VII School, at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday, starting at 14h00. The 20 over knockout competition featured 32 schools in its first round, making it the biggest cricket tournament in these parts by far. The initial thinking was that the Gauteng winners will go through to a national tournament involving all the other provincial champions in the new year, but the arrangements for that are still to be announced.