Afcon bunch needs a stern talking to

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Archie Henderson

By Archie Henderson

THE way some people went on after the Zambia football team’s bus was stoned at Soccer City last week, you’d have thought that Chipolopolo had come under attack by a mob of panga-wielding maniacs.

It turned out that two misguided youths had been throwing stones. As a once-misguided laaitie who also threw stones – which kid can resist the urge? – I can hardly point a finger. But let’s hope they got a stern talking-to by a fierce police sergeant and have promised to mend their ways.

It would have been interesting to hear what motivated the two youngsters – aged 12 and 13, we were told – to cast the first stone in what led, briefly, to an international incident.

Why, for instance, was the Zambian bus targeted? Would it have been because they were Bafana’s opponents? If so, there could be some mitigating factors here.

This is not an attempt to excuse their behaviour, but those two kids are growing up in a world where opposition teams are often treated with, at best, insulting chants and, at worst, violence. Some clubs, such as Orlando Pirates, will even go to great lengths to exonerate themselves from the destructive tendencies of their fans. You’d think that someone of Irvin Khoza’s standing in our football would accept responsibility. (Then again, perhaps not. He did not even have the gumption to take on a touch as soft as Gideon Sam.)

Now that the SA Football Association has grovelled to its Zambian counterpart for the incident, Kennedy Mweene has nursed a bruised ego and had a few stitches to his wounds and the international news agencies have come to realise that neither Marikana nor De Doorns have been transplanted to Soccer City, let’s cut the kids some slack.

They deserve all the punishment that came their way but at least they showed some passion, which can’t be said for many of our alleged soccer fans.

Other than extreme apathy, how do you explain only 16956 people from our most densely populated area turning up for an international match involving the said-to-be-beloved Bafana and the champions of Africa? According to some reports, fewer than 4000 out of that lot paid the entrance fee. We can’t even get a rent-a-crowd to fill the jewel in our World Cup crown.

Not that you could call it a gem of a pitch after last Wednesday. At least we now know what’s important to the people who run Soccer City. It’s rock concerts and not football matches.

The photograph of the stadium’s pitch, taken by Sydney Seshibedi that appeared in Wednesday’s edition of The Times, was revealing: the surface resembled a dry river bed or a cattle kraal. Having home-ground advantage at next year’s Nations Cup, for which Soccer City will stage the opening and closing games, could mean that Gordon Igesund will be taking Bafana to train on a dairy farm.

The organisers of the Nations Cup have inspired as much confidence as the people who care for the Soccer City pitch. Very little, that is.

With no Jerome Valcke or Sepp Blatter to chivvy along our lot, the Nations Cup is in danger of becoming a great non-event. There just seems to be no sense of occasion among Mvuso Mbebe’s bunch. Someone needs to wake them up. Their poverty pleading, such as last week’s presentation to parliament’s sport portfolio committee, no longer stands up as an excuse. Perhaps they need a fierce police sergeant to give them a stern talking to.

Courtesy:http: Sportlive (Article here)

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10 Responses to Afcon bunch needs a stern talking to

  1. This old man was one of the kids throwing stones at our bus and so he should be prosecuted for inciting violence.

    muti props - November 19, 2012
    13:17

  2. The author is cunning bantustanic. Whether the stones were thrown by two small kids or the author’s grandfather says volumes about the behaviour of South Africans towards Africans. We expect total security for our team, fufll stop.

    Le Sage - November 19, 2012
    12:02

  3. I am sure the author of the above article is South African.
    Whether the stones were thrown by South Africans and in South Africa.
    Discipline those juveniles. I am sure the Author is a racist.

    MFP - November 19, 2012
    11:08

  4. A wrong is a wrong …now safa. Should admit it was a security lapse straight

    ba zambia - November 19, 2012
    10:55

  5. Archie Henderson’s article is eye catching and provokes the reader to go down and read more but at the end of it all you discover that it does not have much to say on the ugly incident of stoning the Zambian bus after the friendly match between Bafana Bafana and Chipolopolo.

    To my opinion it brings out SAFA and SA security measures to be put in place before next January’s Afcon

    The incident of stoning the Zambian bus to me that is water under the bridge because Mweene is now fine and no matter how much we lament it will never be reversed.
    It happened and whether there were big boys behind that, they will never be known because the two boys were already sacrificed.

    What lesson can SAFA draw from this ugly incident?

    The incident can provide a platform at which SAFA, CAF, FIFA, SA police and other stakeholders can strengthen security measures to decipher such acts long before they occur.

    2013 Afcon puts SA’s security to a test again and to prove that the country is worth the salt, elements of thuggery, hooliganism and other security concerns are not part of the modern South Africa, we must never take security concerns for granted.

    "Bantustan by God's Design" - EQTB - November 19, 2012
    10:19

  6. No! stop sayong they are kids. from the look of things we are not calling a spade a spade. even if you are afraid that if SA is punished they may stop you from having your training in SA.
    stop pleading and dont force the players to give us false info when you know its hating.

    limbwendu - November 19, 2012
    10:14

  7. Move the afcon to botswana and namibia.

    MOJO - November 19, 2012
    09:54

  8. They are kids. Get over it, Zambian whiners. You would think the whole of South Africa ganged up against the Zambian players.

    Kgalema - November 19, 2012
    09:54

  9. The two boys are sacreficial lumbs. There should have been bigger boys (Men) out there who the damage.

    Ostrich - November 19, 2012
    09:45

  10. A wrong is a wrong no matter the age of the perpetrator

    Nikuv - November 19, 2012
    09:41