Fortunes You can’t just blame Igesund

FORMER Bafana Bafana midfielder Quinton Fortune says he would back the appointment of Carlos Queiroz as national team coach if it happens, but feels Gordon Igesund, pictured, should still be kept at the helm. Igesund’s contract is not likely to be renewed when it expires later this year, and he may not even be on the bench for Bafana’s friendly international against Australia next month following a probe into allegations that he encouraged national team players to strike over bonuses before the African Nations Championship (CHAN). Queiroz, currently head coach of World Cupbound Iran, is one of the men earmarked for the position. “Carlos was amazing when ,I played under him. He is one of the best coaches we had.

But we have Gordon now as the coach. I don’t know how many coaches we are going to go through. The problem is deeper than Gordon, who I think is fantastic. Yes, the results have not gone his way, but was there a long-term plan when we appointed Gordon? And that’s what we need to focus on. “We can give Carlos the job but for how long? Two or three years? And then things don’t go well and we change the coach. It’s like a time bomb. And you can’t work like that. I will not point a finger at Igesund and blame him for what’s going on now,” said Fortune, who also worked with Queiroz at Manchester United. Fortune says that whoever is appointed the next Bafana coach, seeing that Igesund seems to be a goner, has to work on a plan with Safa to help improve the national teams, from the under-17s right up to the senior team. “Someone has to come in with a mindset of wanting to improve all the national teams. Generation after generation we need to see players coming through. But right now we are not producing that and things need to change. We need to develop players. We need to be winning tournaments, from junior level.

Are we just going to play football for years and say Bafana Bafana is doing well? “We need to have plan, we need to have structures, from under-10s up to senior level. I would like to meet Safa one day. Because I don’t care about anything else, I just want to see our football improving. I am doing my coaching badges now and my dream would be to coach the national team.” Fortune was at the Gauteng Future Champions International tournament for under-17s last week. Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro won the competition, beating defending champions Club Tijuana on penalties. Mamelodi Sundowns were the best performing South African club, finishing in fourth place after topping their group. SuperSport United, Jomo Cosmos and Sunward Park High School could not get past the group phase.

  • We had a wonderful football and cultural experience in Gauteng. The tournament and activities were very well organized and we found everyone involved extremely helpful and accommodating. We have all returned home with fantastic memories of our time in South Africa, both on and off the pitch, and have made many new friends as a result of the trip. I hope that we are invited to participate in future tournaments.

    Everton Academy Head Coach
  • The experience both on and off the field for our players during the Future Champions tournament in Gauteng was life-enriching for all those who participated. We were privileged enough to win this edition but what will be bringing us back in future is the cross-cultural education our players receive from spending time with athletes from all over the world. They are human beings before they are football players and enriching them with other cultures is as rewarding as the experience they receive on the field.

    Club Tijuana Director of Football
  • After twenty years of experiencing tournaments around the globe, Future Champions is hands down the best organized, well run International Tournament we have ever participated in. Bringing teams from dozens of different countries provided our boys exposure to cultural diversity they only read about in textbooks. It’s amazing how sport can be the cultural link that provides the opportunity to interact with each other and discover that our global community is a bit smaller than they realized. We had a football and cultural experience that will be cherished for the rest of our lives.

    Director of USYSA Select
  • For us to compete in Future Champions is much more than playing a series of matches. It is an opportunity to compete and contrast our level against the best teams from around the world and the possibility of living in another culture and environment for an unforgettable week, learning about the history of the fight for human rights.

    Director of Aspire Academy
  • The addition of a girls’ competition this year is a natural expansion for what has become a hugely popular event. Over and above the football, the players are also exposed to life-skills courses and HIV/AIDS awareness that could end up saving their lives in the future. We have had an amazing partnership with the Gauteng Province over the last decade and we thank each and every stakeholder for making the Future Champions Gauteng campaign such a huge success

    Tournament director