I’m not a coach or player: NSA boss Molokwane refuses responsibility for Proteas’ World Cup failure

08 October 2023 - 17:16
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Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane.
Netball South Africa president Cecilia Molokwane.
Image: Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Netball World Cup 2023

Netball South Africa (NSA) president Cecilia Molokwane has refused to shoulder responsibility for the Proteas’ failure at the Netball World Cup, despite promising the nation a podium finish at the tournament.   

The Proteas finished sixth in the global showpiece staged in Cape Town in July and August, where Australia were crowned the champions.   

That was South Africa’s worst finish in the World Cup since 2007 (also sixth). They dropped the ball compared to the 2019 edition where they reached the semifinals and finished fourth.

Asked if she has done a postmortem of the Proteas’ World Cup to research what went wrong, Molokwane said she did not understand why she was being asked that question.   

“I don’t think I’m the relevant person to ask because I don’t coach the team, I’m only supporting the team,” Molokwane said.   

“Let’s not mix issues because I will never know what went wrong because, firstly, I’m not a player but I’m supporting the players.”   

Molokwane, though, did admit that the Proteas’ preparation did not take place as NSA wanted and said coach Norma Plummer joining the team a few months before the tournament was also a problem.   

This after the organisation opted to sack former coach Dorette Badenhorst after the team finished sixth at the Commonwealth Games after their loss to Uganda in Birmingham.   

The Proteas lost in the playoffs to Uganda at the World Cup to finish in the same position under Plummer, who is set to retire at the end of the year.    

“We want to see better results, we want better players playing; but in my own opinion it would be like the coach [Plummer] came in late. The preparations were not as they should be,” Molokwane said.   

“And the second thing is I didn’t understand the system that was used at World Netball.

“We drew with New Zealand, and we lost one game, however, we didn’t go anywhere.”

“I still have everything that says every World Cup must have quarterfinals and semifinals where everybody understands and sees [everything]. The system that was used, not only me but a lot of countries, we are questioning it.   

“And I think at World Netball, it will be looked at because it’s something that’s needs to be looked at.   

“We are in the Rugby World Cup now and we know there will be quarterfinals, the semifinals and the final. We [netball] need to go the same route.   

“To me it’s a system that favours some countries and doesn’t favour others.”   

The Proteas travel to Australia to play three games against the world champs on October 26, 29 and 31. Plummer’s last tour with the South Africans will be to England in December.

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