As you know, I pledge allegiance to the men and women who press their fist to their chest in acknowledgement of our prayer’s melody. And to the talented servants who selflessly give off themselves to perform with passion as they seek to defend our secret cloth. Anyone who goes against that deserves my unveiled scorn.
When I heard the story about May Mahlangu, the words “jy raak ons k**k gewoont” came to mind. Imagine a world where we can just send an email to work and say “I am tired,” Mondays would be a holiday.
The idea that where there are procedures we need to follow them should not be a far flung notion for any professional in any field. The idea that May Mahlangu knows himself as a player is almost as absurd as the idea that all of a sudden he is qualified to make a self diagnosis. A medical professional needs to do that. Just like you and I need to submit a medical certificate to substantiate whatever conditions we claim, especially if it is a hangover.
By sending an email, May Mahlangu usurped SAFA’a ability to engage with anybody at an institutional level. So SAFA’s made the call, “if you won’t talk to us through the right channels, we won’t talk to you;” which I think that decision was spot on.
So there: “Bye bye May, don’t expect a call come January…”
However there is another issue I want to talk about, on this topic. It is about the proverbial elephant in the room.
This thing with internationally based players receiving call ups and then not being in the condition to play is not new. At some point it happened with Steven Pienaar, Thulani Serero and Kamogelo Mokotjo. In fact with Kamogelo Mokotjo the technical team agreed that he was not in good shape. The coach even said he was a heavy.
So here is my question, if the player is not in good shape, how is he getting selected in the first place? I am actually amazed that no one is asking this. We are too focused on vilifying the player, that we don’t take the time to interrogate the process. Surely if the player is not in good shape, it should be showing in his performances. So how is he getting selected? Surely it must be a SAFA issue because it has been happening across multiple coaches, technical teams and AFCON and World Cup cycles. The trend is such that you cannot really be attributed to the coaches or technical team.
Could this be a quota from the powers that be? Do we want to be seen to be selecting players in the European leagues? And if it is a quota is it fair?
The best was when the player’s union came out with a statement to protect May Mahlangu. Surely as a union their first priority would be to the South African player who would have missed out on the call up, just because a player in European league had to be called up?
The tempest prognosticator
Themba A Dikgale