Time’s up for Gordon Igesund

2014-02-16 14:01

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Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund is not off the hook?...?yet.

The coach who has come under severe criticism might have received a stay of execution after the Safa leadership decided to keep him, but a high-ranking Safa official told City Press Igesund might not see out his contract, which ends in August.

A new coach, believed to be Carlos Queiroz, is expected to be given a contract that will start on July 1 so as to coincide with preparations for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, which begin in September.

Igesund is expected to be paid at least two months’ salary after Bafana’s final friendly against Australia in Sydney in May. According to the source, the SA Football Association (Safa) was unanimous in its decision, taken at a special meeting on Thursday, that the coach should not be retained.

“Even if he beats Brazil 5-0, and Australia, it won’t help his case. The decision has already been taken that he should go,” said the source.

Bafana play against Brazil on March 5 at FNB Stadium and Australia two months later. These matches are set to be Igesund’s swan song.

The source said Safa did not want to go through yet another legal battle with a coach. “We’ve just settled with Pitso Mosimane and we didn’t want to go through the same process again. This was going to ruin our reputation as we don’t want to be seen as just firing coaches.”

Our information indicates that Safa – who still has another pending case with former legal head Nathi Ngcobo – agreed to pay Mosimane about R5?million, which includes his legal fees.

“Again, getting an interim person would have meant paying two salaries and that would have been a waste of money. We also didn’t want to destabilise the team ahead of the Brazil game.”

Igesund refused to comment on his future, saying he was happy with the confidence shown in him by the federation.

Safa has already established a six-member committee to investigate allegations Igesund influenced some players to demand bonuses during the African Nations Championship, which ended earlier this month.

The committee – which will go through reports from team manager Barney Kujane, head of delegation Gerald Don and Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble – is headed by Advocate Norman Arendse. The other members are

Xolile Nkompela, Andile Ndengezi, Mohammed Mubarak, Lucas Radebe and Abel Rakoma.

They are expected to report to Safa’s national executive committee within 30 days from last Thursday.

The special meeting noted that:

  • Igesund has failed to deliver
  • on his mandates for the 2014 Fifa World Cup, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations as well as the 2014 African Nations Championship;
  • The association does not want to act in an impromptu manner but rather must plan systematically for immediate and future programmes of Bafana and all of the other national teams;
  • There must be a clear plan for the next World Cup cycle of 2014 to 2018; and
  • Any decision on national team coaches for all levels must take this cycle into account.

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