Tuesday, October 18, 2011

South African excuses

I am not going to join the choir criticizing South Africa's Football Association (SAFA) or coach for their inability to qualify to the African Nations Cup. No, instead I am going to commend the coach, Pitso Mosimane, for his apparent strategic abilities: knowing (or thinking....) that 0-0 against Sierra Leone was enough to qualify, he decided to play on the result rather than a victory against a team most people would think would be easy for the Bafana Bafana to defeat.
Modern football. Why win (at home) when you can tie...?
Turns out 0-0 was not enough, since in case of point-equality, the rules were unfortunately misinterpreted: in case of point-equality, the first criteria to decide who is first, is the mutual encounter between the two concerned teams, and not the score. With this calculation, South Africa was out, and Niger was sensationally qualified.
So what did Pitso Mosimane do? Complain that the rules had not been clear. And in such situations, where a coach has not qualified and is proving somewhat controversial, other football associations might distance themselves from their man.
But not SAFA! No, these guys supported their coach, and were apparently not aware of the regulations either, and lodged a complaint to SAFA about the rules.
Stand by your man! Even when it means making a fool of your footballing system! That is what team sport means!
South Africa will not be going to the African Cup of Nations. But Niger will be great to see there.

You gotta be grateful that the same people running South African football are not running the rest of the country...

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