Jomo: Shakes must just accept


Mashaba has chosen to go on a personal tirade against the media in the trenches of Bafana’s recent battles with his rage against the Fourth Estate accelerating to irrational heights in the days leading to the back-to-back matches against Cameroon during the just-ended FIFA break.

His fury against the press – which another Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has already warned will not get him anywhere – continued after the two games against Cameroon which left the senior national team’s chances of qualification for the 2017 African Nations Cup on life support.

“When it comes to Bafana Bafana I was at the funeral so I cannot comment because I didn’t see the game,” says Sono jokingly before being candid about treating the media as an enemy when you are the national team head coach.

Sono has twice coached the senior national team in 1998 and 2002.

“When it comes to journalists there is nothing you can do. They have to inform the public, they have to tell the public, they have to voice their own opinions. You cannot fight opinions from the journalists,” says Sono.

“I have been there and I was there. I think if there is a coach who got more flak than any other coach it was me. I dropped all your top players and I was hit left, right and centre but sanity prevailed in the end. We have to accept it that if you take that position then you must know that you are on fire. Either you become a hero or a villain, one of the two.”

Though insisting that he will rather not voice his opinions in public about the current state of the national team, which now appears likely to make it three failed Afcon qualification campaigns in their last four attempts, Sono notes that Mashaba must accept the pressure that butters the finances offered by the job.

“I feel for Shakes but that job comes with a lot of money, comes with a lot of pressure, so he must just accept it. That is the kind of job it is,” he says while pointing out that his personal views are better off kept to himself.

“It is difficult to say anything about Bafana Bafana now because any of us as ex-coaches who say anything about Bafana Bafana then it will be said ufuna ispan [he wants the job] back. Ufuna ukubuyela kwi Bafana Bafana [He wants to go back to Bafana Bafana).

“So it is a bit difficult for us and we were actually discussing it the other day with Clive Barker to say it is better for us as ex-coaches to keep quiet than to say anything because people will turn this around,” notes Sono.