Mmegi Blogs :: Letís address the issue NOT too much the individuals
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Friday 17 August 2018, 13:30 pm.
Letís address the issue NOT too much the individuals

Following a tumultuous week which resulted in National Under 23 and National team assistant coach Keitumetse ĎPioí Paul being sacked, many questions remain unanswered. We seem to have done away with the end problem, which was Pio Paulís outburst, but we seem not to have addressed the root cause of the problem. Firing Pio Paul will not vanish away the problems that caused the outburst and his eventual banishment.
By Thuso Palai Tue 26 May 2015, 18:52 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Blogs :: Letís address the issue NOT too much the individuals

The main cause of the fall-out was the apparent contradiction between what Paul did and said and what the Association did and said. The major bone of contention is why some key Under 23 players were to be with the senior team at the COSAFA Cup while the Under23s were playing a crucial qualifier and if indeed Paul was consulted on the matter and if indeed he was part of the decision or not. Clearly the two were on a tangent with the Association saying this and Paul saying that. And in the end, as the power rests with the Association, they prevailed and fired Paul.

I’m not for one second condoning or agree with Paul and his outburst attacking the Association in public, but we need to look at what caused the outburst and what should be done to prevent that in the future. Surely there is an issue here and it could happen with another coach in somewhat similar situation. Coach’s outburst need to be addressed and I have seen such happen in the past and the Association was not so hasty to fire them. They were reprimanded and warned of their future conduct.  

For me there are bigger issues that need to be addressed and firing Paul won’t make those problems vanish. Clearly there are issues that need to be addressed, and yes, we have witnessed some national team coaches’ air their concerns in the media in the past. We saw that with National team coach Peter Butler and former junior team’s coach Kaizer Kobedi. Kobedi was later released from his duties. Although not exactly identical, its shows that there were issues, and firing everytime someone airs their concerns is unsustainable.

It is Paul today and it could be another person tomorrow if the same challenges persist. That is what needs to be addressed. We should address the issue at hand and not the individuals.

Which brings me to the reason for Paul’s immediate banishment while others were ‘reportedly’ reprimanded and warned not to attack the Association in the media? Paul was instantly banished.

Looking at that the two sides are saying two different things, we as the public will


never know exactly why Paul was fired. We are made to believe that it is for his outburst but surely it can’t be solely for that unfortunate, uncalled for outburst alone, as one Butler would have long been fired, if the same principle was applied across board.

Sources at Lekidi have whispered to me that Paul was a dead man walking and he was given a rope to hang himself and he obliged. Even though the powers that be will not admit it and will dismiss it as conspiracy theories, it is quite clear that there is more to this than meets the eye.

If indeed the BFA valued Paul they would not have fired him at the first instance of indiscretion. That’s what employers tend to do when they value someone and want them to stay. If they don’t, they wait for something to use to fire. Hence the trigger quick move to fire Paul.

And I will repeat myself so that I am not mistaken or misunderstood to be saying Paul was right to attack the BFA. He was wrong and action should have been taken; but to fire him, and at this crucial stage, was rather too hasty for me.

I have been told by the powers that be that Butler was reprimanded for his twitter rants attacking the Association and why not apply the same for Paul, unless of course guns were already loaded and aiming in his direction.

Instead of building our own we throw them out to the dogs. In every profession, everyone is given a chance to mitigate when found out in the wrong, and who knows maybe Pio Paul would have acknowledged his mistake and apologised.          

For me we should have addressed the issue and ironed it out. What needs to happen in the future should such a situation arise again. As for Paul we can only ask ourselves: why was he not given a hearing? Why was he fired at the first instance of indiscretion? As a local coach with potential, why fire him and not build him? Have we indeed thrown out the baby with the water? We can only speculate.

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