Carlos Queiroz set to take over Bafana hot seat

2014-02-02 14:00

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Former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Queiroz is set to make a sensational return to the job he lost more than a decade ago.

But the former Portugal coach will not assume his responsibilities with immediate effect as he still has to lead Iran to the Fifa World Cup in Brazil in June.

Gordon Igesund’s fate is expected to be sealed at the national executive meeting of the SA Football Association (Safa) next week.

His contract ends in June but City Press has been reliably informed that Safa is reluctant to give the beleaguered coach a golden handshake due to his unfulfilled mandates.

Allegations that he tried to influence players to demand higher bonuses during the African Nations Championship also weakened his position.

According to sources, Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba is likely to be thrown in as caretaker coach to guide Bafana through the international friendly against Brazil next month.

A top Safa official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Queiroz, who was in the country recently, is the favourite to land the job after holding secret talks with the Safa leadership in Cape Town.

He was a keen spectator at the opening match of the African Nations Championship between Bafana and Mozambique.

“If he agrees to come back, he will only be expected to start after the World Cup. He was here to have a look at the team and I think he will come back,” said the source, who also mentioned that former Orlando Pirates coach Roger De Sa will be approached to assist Queiroz.

De Sa occupied the same position during Queiroz’s tenure as Bafana coach, and they have maintained their relationship ever since.

After quitting his job with immediate effect on Friday, De Sa could be joining up with Queiroz now as Iran prepare for the World Cup, and join his technical team when Queiroz assumes the Bafana post.

Queiroz coached the team between 2000 and 2002.

He helped Bafana qualify for the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) as well as the World Cup in the same year.

The coach was controversially sacked by Safa after a disappointing quarterfinal exit at Afcon, where Bafana lost to Mali.

He won nine, drew seven and lost four of the 20 games he was in charge of.

Queiroz is a staunch believer in development.

His return will possibly revive the blueprint on development he presented to Safa, which is gathering dust at their head office.

Mashaba is also in the mix as he is highly regarded in Safa circles.

He is also likely to become part of Bafana’s technical team following on the Safa technical committee’s insistence that the Under-23 coach must automatically become one of Bafana’s assistant coaches.

This is if he does not get the hot seat permanently.

Mashaba has been used as a stop-gap coach with Bafana and junior national teams in the past.

He has not disappointed, winning the southern African Zone 6 games in Zambia with the Under-17s in 2012 and recently the Cosafa Under-20 tournament in Lesotho.

He is also the last coach to qualify the national Under-23 team for the Olympic Games when Amaglug-glug went to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Mashaba also had a brief stint with Bafana at which he won the 2003 Cosafa tournament and qualified them for the 2004 Afcon in Tunisia, but had a fallout with Safa before the tournament.

Another name being bandied about is that of former England coach Glenn Hoddle.

The Englishman’s last involvement in club management was with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2006, and he has been running his own academy since.

Last month, he was linked to a move to coach Tottenham Hotspur (the club he played 377 matches for, scoring 88 times between 1975 and 1987), but he didn’t get the job.

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