Shakes Mashaba favourite for Bafana job

2014-05-28 16:43

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National Under-23 coach Ephraim Mashaba has emerged as the favourite to land the sought-after Bafana Bafana job.

But he faces stiff competition from Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi, who is rumoured to have been approached to replace Gordon Igesund, if the executive decides not to renew his contract.

Safa’s national executive committee will meet on Saturday to review Igesund’s contract, which comes to an end in August, and to decide on the new person to guide the team.

City Press has learnt through sources within Safa that the executive is divided on Mashaba.

Some feel he should not be derailed from grooming and taking the national Under-20s to the African Youth Championship and ultimately the Fifa Under-20 World Cup next year.

Mashaba’s Amajita have qualified for the last round of the qualifiers after beating Ethiopia 3-0 on aggregate and will meet Cameroon in the next round.

He will also be in charge of the national Under-23 team in its quest to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

After leading the Super Eagles to last year’s Africa Cup of Nations title, Keshi is also seen as a potential replacement. He will guide Nigeria at next month’s World Cup in Brazil.

Keshi has already hinted that there were six countries vying for his signature.

Another issue on the agenda is the appointment of a technical director. Fran Hilton-Smith has been acting since Serame Letsoaka left the position two years ago.

The disciplinary committee’s recommendations on the issue of Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana will also be discussed on Saturday.

Nonkonyana has been on suspension since last October because of remarks he made about Igesund.

The outspoken Safa vice-president said the embattled coach should be axed if he failed to win this year’s African Nations Championships hosted by South Africa. Bafana failed to get past the group stage.

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