Recently appointed SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan insists no rash decisions will be taken over the future of Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund after his failure to qualify the country for next year’s World Cup.
“We are not going to take a decision on Gordon in isolation of the total plan and all of the coaches,” Jordaan said, speaking at the African football forum, Soccerex, in Durban today.
“We want to have a conversation with all of the coaches from under-17 level to Bafana Bafana and present a grand plan for all of the national teams and then decide what we want to do.”
The national team were eliminated from the race to Brazil last month when they were beaten to top spot in their qualifying group by Ethiopia, who progressed to the next stage where a 10-team play-off would determine which five African countries reached the 2014 finals.
Jordaan, who ousted Mandla Mazibuko for the top Safa post last Saturday, outlined a project dubbed ‘Vision 2022’, with a prime target of lifting Bafana into the top 20 in the Fifa world rankings and putting the country among the top three teams in Africa – in just under nine years.
To get there, though, he wanted national teams, on all levels, to qualify for major competitions on a regular basis.
“We want to qualify for [Afcon] Morocco 2015. In 2016 it is the Olympic football tournament in Brazil, which brings into play the under-23 team,” Jordaan said.
“So, before that, we must talk to the under-20 coach because those players in 2013 for 2016 will then be considered and we would also need to talk to the under-17 coach.
“It is all tied in together and we need to correct the entire system starting with successful junior teams.”
His comments came shortly after the launch of plans to build a state-of-the-art Sports Development Centre at Hoy Park, in the heart of Durban.
The R70-million project, classified as an international academy, would be the first of its kind on the continent and will focus on youth development.
The academy would be headed by former Sporting Lisbon scout, Paulo Cardoso, credited with discovering Portuguese stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani, with construction set to begin next year.
Plans were also in place to build further such academies in the other provinces.
Meanwhile, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula praised the appointment of Jordaan, saying he had no doubt the 2010 World Cup chief would turn Safa around.
“He understands football, understands our deficiencies and knows what needs to happen,” Mbalula said at the same venue today.
“You’ve got this new face and he has a vision. So let’s make it happen.”
The minister also hoped Jordaan would help Safa come out of its recent financial struggles after the national soccer body reported losses of more than R50 million last year.
“It pains me when I see Safa struggling financially,” Mbalula said.
“You are supposed to be number one.
“I think the situation will definitely improve (under Jordaan). They (Safa) need to be at another level when it comes to financial injection and sponsorship.”
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