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Mosimane needs a little humility, and a great team

The Editor, The Times Newspaper | 2012-02-03 00:51:47.0

The Times Editorial: Just three weeks ago Pitso Mosimane told us he is one of the best football coaches in Africa. Yesterday, his employers made it clear they did not agree with the Bafana coach's conceit.

The South African Football Association disclosed that it had set Mosimane the goal of reaching next year's Nations Cup final. If he fails to do so, he will be out of a job.

Admittedly, the ultimatum was presented by Mwelo Nonkonyana, the vice-president of Safa, who is known for his hyperbole.

Nonkonyana is given to making exaggerated predictions (he once claimed Bafana would win the 2010 World Cup). But this time he knows he has the support of South African soccer fans.

Everyone who holds our national team dear was upset by the latest bumblings of Bafana.

Not only did Mosimane and his crew fail to understand the basic rules governing qualification for the current Nations Cup, now under way in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, but the coach had the gall to tell the nation that it was not his job to read the rules.

Mosimane will find there is little sympathy for him following the Safa ultimatum. His latest burst of arrogance was staggering and could not have won him any friends.

But he can take comfort in the velvet glove that covered Nonkonyana's iron fist.

Safa has also been sympathetic. Mosimane has been promised support. His technical team is to be strengthened and the coach has been told he will be able to select from the "cream of the crop". The latter, of course, would require more than just a Safa promise; it would need complete buy-in from the professional clubs.

A first step, however, would be some contrition from the coach. Mosimane's outburst against all and sundry after a recent friendly match against Ghana will do him little good.

He needs to win hearts and minds as well as put together a football team capable of making the country proud. That should be the easy part.

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