No rest for new Bafana coach as Afcon qualifiers loom

2010-06-29 00:00

WHOEVER is appointed as new Bafana Bafana coach on Thursday will have to knuckle down to some serious business what with the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on the horizon.

The new coach, widely tipped to be either Pitso Mosimane or Gavin Hunt, will succeed Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira, whose dealings with Bafana Bafana ended after team’s exit in the World Cup group stages last week.

Safa vice president Mandla “Shoes” Mazibuko told The Witness yesterday that Carlos Alberto Parreira’s successor will be unveiled on Thursday after a special national executive committe meeting.

“In that meeting we will look into a report compiling candidates for the coaching job, after which it will be presented to a management committe meeting this week.

“An announcement of the new Bafana Bafana coach shall be made after those meetings on Thursday. We will stick to our earlier stance before the World Cup that the new coach will be local,” said Mazibuko.

Safa’s move to appoint Parreira’s successor so soon should be applauded given that there is just one month left to prepare for the 2010 Afcon qualifiers.

In his parting remarks after the France game in Bloemfontein, Parreira made no bones about Mosimane being his preferred successor.

The outspoken Mosimane, who has been quoted widely in local media as expressing an interest in the job, has worked with both Parreira and Joel Santana during the last three years.

Previously he served as Ted Dumitru’s assistant during the disastrous 2006 Afcon tournament in Egypt.

Hunt, who has won three league titles in a row with SuperSport United is regarded as the dark horse for the job.

After ending their lukewarm World Cup participation on a high by beating former champions France 2-1, Bafana Bafana should be in good mood to kick off their 2012 Afcon campaign.

All qualifiers are played on Fifa match days, so there should be no problem securing the services of Bafana’s overseas-based players.

The top team in each pool advances to the finals, which are being co-hosted by Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, with the three best second-placed finishers earning a place in the showpiece event as well.

Bafana kick off with a home match against Niger in early September and visit Sierra Leone in October.

Egypt, who are kings of Africa following their Afcon crown defence back to back, will pay Bafana Bafana a visit for a March date.

The South Africans go to Cairo for a second leg in June.

Another away date with Niger awaits the locals in September before rounding off the campaign with a home clash against Sierra Leone in October 2011.

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