Johannesburg – South African Football Association (Safa) President Danny Jordaan has hailed the late former Bafana Bafana coach Clive Barker for not only the role he played in terms of South African football development but also the role that he played in nation-building.
Barker died last week following a battle with Lewy body dementia, aged 78. To date, he remains the only South African coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), a feat he achieved by guiding Bafana Bafana to the 1996 title.
Many of the ex-professional footballers that Barker coached have hailed him for being a “father figure” to players.
Jordaan’s comments came as Barker was honoured with a Provincial funeral in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday. Prior to his burial, a memorial service was held at the Olive Convention Centre in Durban.
“Barker knew what this nation wanted. He knew what would truly represent a national team and an integrated team. The team was built on difficult circumstances. Clive did not build a team. He started building a family and you can see the concept of a family and then see the concept of a team,” said Jordaan.
“That strong undeniable concept Clive built, that you are a family first then you are a team, I think is one of the fundamental reasons for success. Clive is a nation-builder who cared for the people,” said Jordaan.