South African Football Association (SAFA) president Danny Jordaan has urged former players to get their technical qualifications if they want to stay in the game, and says it is not enough to rely on their experiences during their career.
There has been a great debate in recent times about whether former players should be utilized more by SAFA, and following last weekend’s National Executive Committee meeting, ex-Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe was added to the technical committee, where he is joined by David Nyathi, while Brian Baloyi and Fabian McCarthy have been placed on SAFA’s marketing, media and commercial committee.
But Jordaan says it is not enough for players to just expect these roles and they must make sure they have the required skills, revealing his feelings in a special edition of The COSAFA Show on Friday.
“We encourage former players [to get involved at SAFA], but also to either get an education or get technical qualifications. It is sometimes a problem, especially for those that have played at the highest level,” Jordaan said.
“I remember the story of [Dutch legend] Ruud Gullit. When he was at the end of his career and retired, he went back to Holland and I had this conversation with him. The KNVB is very clear, if you do not have qualifications, you can’t be a coach at any level.
“Gullit told them, ‘I am looking at you in this room, who are telling me I cannot coach the Dutch national team. What are your qualifications?’. He said he was quite arrogant, but they stuck to their guns.
“He left, went to England and became the coach of Chelsea without qualifications. They just looked at the big former player and the profile, but that was short-lived. He then went back and did his coaching badges, and now he is qualified.”
Jordaan says that this is an attitude that permeates through South African football as well, where some former players don’t feel the need to get qualified.
“I had an example in South Africa too, where I had to speak to this legend, who also felt he knew everything about football, so why must he now be told by people who have never played at the highest level how to coach?
“So I agreed with him, he could do it orally. You sit down there and you explain all the things you know. The evaluators can sit there, and if you can prove that yes, you know all things they want you to know at FIFA level coaching badge, then we will give [the job] to you.”
Former Leeds United star Radebe has previously been vocal about wanting to play a larger role at SAFA, but Jordaan says he must decide which path he wants to take, and the organisation will support him.
“Coming back to Lucas specifically, I asked him whether he was looking at being a technical director, because some of the things he says in the media it sounds like he wants to be an administrator.
“If he wants to be an administrator, he must then tell us so that we can get him out of the technical stream. That is for him to decide.”