The South African Football Coaches Association has released a statement in response to SAFA’s announcement about the technical requirements from the 2024/25 season.
Earlier this month SAFA released a statement confirming the new minimum requirements for coaches across South African football’s systems.
However SAFCA have now responded, questioning how they will be implemented and SAFA’s intentions.
“The South African Football Coaches Association has noted with serious concern the recent announcement by the technical regulations by SAFA’s Office of the Technical Director, which are intended to come into effect in less than six months,” the statement read.
“While for years, it was evident that South African football needed some serious technical overhaul, the recent regulations announced as a step in the right direction, are, paradoxically, a serious cause for concern.”
“These are but some of the new regulations SAFA intends to bring into effect in less than six months. The association cannot reasonably move from doing very little to nothing over decades, to doing everything at once. It cannot possibly be reasonable and the approach, while we believe comes from a good place, will undoubtedly be counter-productive.
“Upon seeing these new regulations, simple questions naturally come to mind. When last was the CAF B license offered in South Africa?
“Are women coaches for women teams still a priority? If so, how many women coaches have CAF B licenses or have attended the last course?
“Now, these are very basic questions that should have been addressed before such stringent measures were pronounced with such stringent deadlines. Not rocket science!
“Moreover, not all CAF-licensed coaches are capable of actually coaching or are available to coach or are interested in coaching at a serious level. This would tell you that even the ones who are qualified may not be available or capable of coaching yet. Again, not rocket science!
“What the numbers telling us in terms of the feasibility of these proposals? Each province has, at least, 16 men teams in the ABC Motsepe-sponsored league. That makes it 144 teams plus 18 National Women League clubs, plus 16 National First Division clubs, plus 16 PSL Assistant Coaches, which all comes to 194 coaches. We’ll come back to this number!
“Before that, a further proposal, not stated above, is that with regard to coaches’ qualifications in the Professional and Elite Academies (PEA), School of Excellence (SOE), and Development Centres (DC) head coaches should have CAF B, while assistant coaches should possess CAF C, and again from the start of 2024/2025 season.
“Now, going back to the numbers, if you take the 194 coaches calculated above, and you then add POE, SOE, and DC, then the number of coaches urgently needed for this work, comes to well over 200 “capable and available coaches” from the word go.
“It is hard at this point to think that this quagmire could not have been foreseen and we wonder to what end were these proposal approved as they were? Who is aiming to achieve exactly what?
“Is there an ulterior goal to all of this?
“As it is, many clubs are struggling to maintain the one team they have, at all levels. Now, SAFA wants to add two more teams per club, and all at once?
“Even at PSL, some have real challenges and Moroka Swallows are a case in point and the situation worsens from the NFD level going down. Could no one have proposed a progressive and systematic approach, that perhaps adding one team per season until the requirements are met would make better sense?
“We dare ask again, is there an ulterior goal to all of this? Is there something we are not being told? Clearly, it cannot be difficult to see that some club owners may give up and have to sell their clubs and with no one prepared to buy them in such an environment football may collapse and this would seem that is where we are headed.
“Once again, we dare ask, is there an ulterior goal to all of this? Is there something we are not being told?
“What about the fact that teams at PSL level are governed by NSL Rules and Regulations. Have these regulations been amended by the NSL? If not, we ask, to what end is this technical heist?
“The South African football, just like the country itself, is very particular and peculiar. It needs novel ideas to overcome its challenges. Any traditional or universal approach, may, at best, not come close to the solution, and at worst, destroy what was already there. We need to be careful! We need a much more progressive conduct because what was lost cannot be recovered. What we need is a futuristic intention and desire to improve the game, and not to use the game to fight ulterior battles and prove ulterior points.
“Only a unique solution, tailored to the specific conditions and challenges of this environment can be the solution for SA – likely something that has never been done anywhere before, never to be repeated anytime in the future.
“We are SA. Look at Alex and Sandton, or Imizamo Yethu and Hout Bay, Northern Cape and Gauteng, (the list is endless), if you don’t understand this point.
“SAFA is currently becoming an extremist and reactionary organisation.
“It is January. You are in a league. In five months, you are expected to have two extra teams. Unless you have never developed a proper team with proper systems, it is not like making fire for a braai? It is much more complex than that. The regulations say nothing about the provincial women’s league, the Sasol-sponsored league.
“If anything, these technical regulations, should have scrapped the under-what-what rule and demanded proper youth teams and for SAFA to provide proper youth leagues, from LFA to regional, provincial and national level.
“That would be making a positive impact in youth development compared to this “heist” under the pretext of taking care of the youth. Youth Leagues take care of the youth population.
“These age-quota rules pretend to provide for the unprepared select few, hence the question about SAFA provincial women’s league and its blatant ostracism.
“This entire technical heist, technical pretense, technical show off of a good paper is pregnant with disaster, sounds vindictive in its intention through a desirable state of affairs and the omission of the women’s provincial league further strengthens this assertion. It is a huge disaster for a SAFA that purports to be committed to women’s football.
“Interestingly, this statement to the media coincides with the technical and administrative vacancies the South African Football Association (SAFA) advertised on Monday with the deadline suspiciously set for today. Really?
“These include the positions for U20 Women’s National Team, U15 Women’s National Team, TDS Project Lead, HPC Girls’ Football Administrator, Head of SAFA Boys’ Academy, as well as Head of Grassroots and School Football. Advertised on Monday, deadline on Friday. Go figure! We’ll leave it at that for now.”