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A Royal mess ... Shauwn Mkhize’s acts highlight SA football’s juvenile tendencies

Shauwn Mkhize celebrates with Royal AM players after they beat Kaizer Chiefs in the league. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Shauwn Mkhize celebrates with Royal AM players after they beat Kaizer Chiefs in the league. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Oct 7, 2021


Johannesburg - Hugo Broos may not last long as Bafana Bafana coach. But what he said this week should be repeated so that South African football administrators, club owners and coaches should listen and absorb.

“Now in Europe, when we are speaking about African football, we are speaking about Senegal, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana, and we never speak about South Africa, never. Sponsors? Who is interested in sponsoring SA football right now? There is no interest,” Broos said, taking a broad swipe at the SA football landscape, which puts clicks on social media above actual progress on the field.

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The video earlier this week of Royal AM owner Shauwn Mkhize dishing out cash to players was disturbing. Many of the players looked uncomfortable. What was the aim of that?

It’s hardly mature and professional conduct, but then, local football has always been run in a manner that is juvenile and incomprehensible.

Established football entities with storied histories like Bloemfontein Celtic and Wits just disappear, sold to individuals who lose court cases, embezzle players’ salaries or make videos of themselves dishing out wads of R200 notes.

ALSO READ: Shauwn Mkhize says ‘God is showing off’ when it comes to Royal AM following bonus saga

The manner in which Royal AM gained PSL status undermines the credibility of the entire league. Football in SA is beholden to two personalities, and the PSL, the primary product, is reliant on the big cash handout from the main sponsors, MultiChoice.

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How many clubs can be said to be properly run?

Football players and the SA public don’t deserve to be treated in the manner that they are by the sport’s administrators. The cult of personality runs roughshod over SA football, and is allowed to do so, and is accepted, because we just want our 90 minutes of entertainment on the weekend.

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The foundations of the sport, its future, development initiatives, well all that can be talked about, put together in a report, the contents of which can later be denied, even if it’s there in black and white.

The national team’s coach can get shut out of a venue where two of SA;s biggest teams are playing, a video of bonus payments from a brown paper bag will be the biggest news, and we can all just laugh at Kaizer Chiefs some more. That’s SA football. It’s a joke. World Wrestling Entertainment is more credible than SA football.

ALSO READ: PSL shoulders blame for Hugo Broos blunder, tenders an apology

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What will it take to fix it? Sports, arts and culture minister Nathi Mthethwa is too scared to do so. It ain’t cricket, which had an actual commission of inquiry to dig into its affairs.

Mthethwa won’t do that in football, because the people who run the sport won’t allow it. Why won’t they? They see football as their own personal fiefdom, theirs to run as they see fit.

Broos’ words are the wisest that have been said about SA football. SA supporters should listen to him, and every time some administrator speaks about the sport and how it’s on track for whatever, just throw Broos’ comments at them.