by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – LOCAL citizens aggrieved by their national team’s dismal start to the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) have demanded the resignation of the South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan.
They lay the blame squarely on him after Bafana Bafana lost 2-0 to Western African outfit Mali on Tuesday in Cote d’Ivoire.
The second half collapse at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly arena in Korhogo was the latest low point for the team.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, led calls for the resignation of Jordaan.
The football head, who he described as a deployed cadre of the rival party, ruling African National Congress (ANC), is at times accused of meddling in national team selection matters.
“We must demand the removal of the @MYANC (African National Congress) deployed cadre called Danny Jordaan. He single handedly disrupted and completely collapsed our football. It’s time to take action and put an end to this nonsense,” Malema vented on X, formerly Twitter.
Some South Africans concurred with Malema against Jordaan, the erstwhile ANC mayor of Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth.
Tiyani Baloyi said: “Until politicians stop running our football association, we are not going anywhere. We have football legends. Those legends should be running SAFA.”
Katlego Rams recommended Lucas Radebe, the former national team captain when the team was at the top.
King Gunner rejoined, “Spot on, Danny needs to go. Why has he stayed so long, for whose benefit? Danny Out!”
With Bafana being the nation’s most popular, albeit most derided and most divisive sports team, others absolved Jordaan and blamed the players.
“When will the players take accountability? Should Danny Jordaan kick penalties on behalf of players?” Ayabonga Kekana asked rhetorically.
A turning point in this loss was a first half penalty miss by star player, Percy Tau, when the teams were evenly balanced.
Meanwhile, Zizi Kodwa, the sports minister, was positive, urging the deflated side to “get up and try again” ahead of the next encounter against high-flying neighbours Namibia on Sunday, also at the Amadou Gon Coulibaly.
“Let us learn the lessons from this loss and come back stronger at AFCON 2023,” Kodwa said.
His stance is poles apart from one of his predecessors, Fikile Mbalula. The motormouth Mbalula had a notoriety of dressing down the soccer national team.
Mbalula most infamously disparaged the Bafana team as “a bunch of unbearable, useless individuals” after they were eliminated on home soil at the group stages of the Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) 2014.
Jordaan’s stock seemingly has fallen since he was inspirational in bringing the 2010 World Cup to South Africa.
Bafana’s fortunes have also tumbled since they won the AFCON in 1996 at home.
– CAJ News