‘The Troublemaker’ was quoted as saying Mosimane should not have been handed the job on a silver platter. “Why should he be entitled to take over when other people go through the issue of applying? Why don't you open it up, let everybody who feels can coach apply. Why give it to him?”
Soccer columnists such as Bareng-Batho Kortjaas blasted Sono for “playing the man” and “not the ball”, suggesting comments Sono had made were unfair to Mosimane, who had been assistant coach with Bafana for four years and had been “plucked” out of SuperSport United and “with the promise that he would learn the ropes and one day ascend to the position”.
“It is rich coming from someone who didn't bat an eyelid in accepting the same job three times without applying once”, wrote Kortjaas in response to Sono’s reaction to Safa’s decision to name Mosimane as the sole candidate for the job.
Sono, who was part of the technical committee that endorsed Mosimane’s appointment, has fired back and hard.
“There are times when local sports journalists behave as if they are experts, even on issues that they seem to have little understanding or background knowledge of,” he writes on the club’s website.
“They inadvertently expose themselves for what they really are – people who are just out to destroy while pretending to support the incumbent. My take on [Mosimane’s appointment], which is still the same and will remain so, was that the position should have been thrown wide open so as to allow those who believe they were up to it to apply for the vacancy. The reason I called for others to apply was just simple clean governance and transparency,” Sono says.
“It should also be noted that on the occasions that I had been head coach of the national team was on a caretaker basis. I stand corrected, but I still have to hear of anybody applying for a caretaker of anything job… I want to put it on record that I do not want to coach the national team – as they say, ‘I have been there, done that and bought the T-shirt’.
“The only explanation that can come out of this uncalled for attack on me and my person is that people are trying to look for scoops from Mosimane. They want to be seen as protecting him and once he fails them they will be the first to hammer him,” Sono claims.
“This smacks of a plot hatched by a group of three or four who sat down and agreed that I should be ‘put in my place’. Journalists do not check their facts or do research before they commit to print are doing the game a great disservice while they prance about misleading the nation,” he says.
The Ezenkosi boss claims his comments were intended to protect Mosimane. “Congratulations to Mosimane and I must add that what I said was to make things much easier and safer for him. That is before he is reminded that the job was given to him on a platter and that he did not deserve it as much more deserving candidates were not given the opportunity to apply,” he adds.