In South Africa there is a tendency to belittle unknown foreign coaches who are given the top jobs at the big clubs or the national team.
There is a term 'a plumber' used in the South African football social circles to describe a foreign coach who is supposedly not good enough to coach in the PSL.
The same name calling fell on newly Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro, as he was labelled "a plumber" and Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza has not been impressed with that particular social media criticism.
"I am humbled because one social media activist in the Twittersphere did not take to rhetoric to talk about a plumber because that is insulting and demeaning," Khoza was quoted as saying by GOAL.
"He spoke to journalists from the [coach’s home] country and he did not come back with words such as a plumber. It helps to have a meaningful debate – people just want to insult and they do not bring solutions to the table."
In fact, the so-called "plumbers" could be in demand in future in the PSL, as CAF has introduced a club licencing regulations that requires coaches to have a CAF A Licence or it's equivalent to sit on the bench in the continental inter-club competitions.
PSL clubs participating in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup have to consider coaches who have a CAF A Licence or an equivalent from a different confederation, which is usually the UEFA Pro Licence.
For example, former Marumo Gallants coach Dan Malesela, who has been commended for embracing the so-called South African football of playing with freedom and flair, was among coaches linked with Pirates.
However, Malesela reportedly does not have a CAF A Licence, which could have been the reason why Bahlabane Ba Ntwa decided against keeping him at the club as they will be competing in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Instead Gallants hired 31-year old foreign coach Romain Folz, who qualifies to be on the bench in the CAF Confederation Cup as he holds a UEFA Pro Licence.
There has been calls for coaches like Malesela to be given a chance at the big clubs, however, if they don't improve their qualifications to meet the requirements by CAF, they are unlikely to be considered for top jobs, as big clubs always compete in the CAF inter-club competitions during a given cycle.
Pirates may not have qualified for the continental competitions for next season but have appointed Riveiro on a three-year deal, which means the Spaniard would be able to sit on the bench if they qualify in future, as he has a UEFA Pro Licence.
Foreign coaches can be labelled as "plumbers" by South Africans but in the long term what is embarrassing is that the real "plumbers" will be local coaches, if they don't upskill themselves.
By Thato Bosoga
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