Connect with us


Bafana Bafana Maintain Unbeaten Run But Face a Coaching Dilemma

Bafana Bafana appear to maintain control on the field but off the pitch, the team’s management has crumbled to fragility. It is yet another African team facing a dilemma in the coaching department.

Earlier in the week, South Africa extended its unbeaten record to 14 matches by drawing 1-1 to Mozambique in an international friendly, without a coach.

Prior to Tuesday’s draw, Bafana Bafana got a crucial win over Senegal during last weekend’s World Cup qualifiers and are now second on goal difference in Group D, behind Burkina Faso. The South Africans are also high contenders in the race for a place at the 2018 finals in Russia.

But the response following the win at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane took a different turn for coach, Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba whose position has been under fire more so, after failing to qualify for the 2017 Gabon Africa Cup of Nations.

Less than 24 hours after the win, Mashaba was suspended from the team pending a decision into a disciplinary action even though the 66-year-old had earlier on thought that the win had saved his job.

“It’s a second lease of life, I was dead already,” he told reporters in a post-match interview after the controversial victory.

But an outburst incident that took place after the game, emerged on a video footage showing a furious Mashaba in a frenzy being calmed by a reporter and a South African Football Association (SAFA) official, right before his post-match TV interview.

“No, no, no. I’m going to talk before I talk about the victory. This is my second life. These people have already buried me, you know that. These people have already buried me. It (the media) talks about ‘he’s gone and forgotten’ and you want me to talk to the media?” Mashaba is heard saying as he positions himself for the interview.

Initially it was expected that anything short of a win over Senegal would not go well for Mashaba’s position. SAFA president, Danny Jordaan warned signs of dismissal should the coach fail to achieve a positive lead in the group stages of the World Cup qualifiers.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”This must be the end of the journey, not the beginning, because this cannot lead us into the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign where we will meet the giants of the African continent,”[/perfectpullquote]

Jordaan criticized the poor performance against Mauritania in September, during the 2017 Gabon AFCON qualifiers.

And now a case of bad publicity following the outburst, banned the coach from traveling with the South African team. The suspended coach also took close to an hour after the game, to get to the customary post-match press conference which usually happens immediately, after the final whistle.

According to the Sowetan Live, accusations were hurled during a verbal altercation, at the SAFA president before other top delegates when they entered the changing room to congratulate the team.

SAFA later issued a statement before Tuesday’s international friendly that read;

“Bafana Bafana Head Coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba will not join the team on their trip to Mozambique, as the SAFA has deemed it necessary to employ disciplinary measures after a regrettable incident at Peter Mokaba Stadium, on Saturday, 12 November 2016.”

Mashaba will have to face an internal disciplinary committee, although the federation has not confirmed why and would not comment further on the case.

“As is our custom in matters such as these, the association will not be making any further comments on this matter out of respect for the dignity of the head coach and the association and the legally privileged nature of such proceedings.”

Mashaba has two years left on his contract but in the meantime, assistant coach Owen da Gama took charge of the team’s friendly against Mozambique in an attempt to experiment more options with team.

“We need competition in all positions in the team, hence we will use Tuesday’s friendly to look at other options. This is good for the team,” Da Gama told the Safa website.


Featured Photo: SAFA president Danny Jordaan(left) with Suspended coach, Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba (right). (Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix)

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in FIFA

Translate »