Igesund gets the boot

2014-06-03 00:00

BAFANA Bafana have sacked coach Gordon Igesund.

The news came yesterday as Igesund presented, unsuccessfully, his final case to the organisation’s Executive Committee at a meeting behind closed doors at Safa House in Johannesburg.

Safa president Danny Jordaan addressed media afterwards, confirming speculations that Igesund had played his last part in South Africa’s football journey towards securing the national team a place at the 2015 African Cup of Nations in Morocco and the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

“The committee gave Igesund the opportunity to respond and make a presentation which he did, to deal with all the elements which either assisted or hindered him in carrying out his responsibilities,” Jordaan said. “The committee then retreated and discussed his future and then reconvened with Igesund.”

The four-time PSL winning coach was hired as Bafana coach in June 2012 with two clear mandates from his employers.

First, he was to secure Bafana’s qualification in the upcoming 2014 World Cup in Brazil and, second, he was to progress to at least the semi-finals of the 2013 African Cup of Nations played on home soil.

A group stage loss in Ethiopia in African World Cup qualifying ultimately sealed Bafana’s World Cup fate, and a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out loss to Mali in the quarter-finals of Afcon 2013 in Durban left Igesund nought from two in Safa’s eyes.

Igesund’s mandate to qualify for Brazil 2014 was given despite him inheriting a squad that had made a less than a desirable start — two draws against Botswana and Ethiopia — to Group A African qualifying.

Despite his two failed campaigns, Igesund’s combined record in Afcon 2013 and World Cup qualifiers remains impressive. In eight matches in those two journeys, Bafana won four, drew three and lost one.

While many in footballing circles had called for continuity and Igesund’s contract to be extended, it was not to be.

Former Bafana coach and Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz was on Friday identified as Igesund’s successor, though Jordaan would not confirm that yesterday.

“The process of finding a new coach will start after this press conference,” Jordaan said yesterday evening.

Igesund was reserved in his comments when being hounded by media yesterday.

“My contract ends in August and Safa have decided not to renew it, it’s as simple as that. I have obviously accepted the decision.” Igesund told SoccerLaduma.co.za. “Its been a privilege and an honour to coach Bafana and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Life goes on.”

The Witness contacted Igesund in the aftermath of yesterday’s meeting.

“There will be a press conference tomorrow [today],” said Igesund. “I don’t think I should say any more until then.”

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