Parreira ‘heartbroken’

2008-04-21 00:00

CARLOS Alberto Parreira will help the SA Football Association (Safa) choose his successor as Bafana Bafana coach and remain as a technical adviser to the new incumbent until “the transition has been completed”, the coach said on announcing his “heartbreaking” decision to resign yesterday.

The worst-kept secret and biggest bombshell in South African football in recent years was confirmed at a media briefing by Parreira and the association at Safa House in Nasrec yesterday. The Brazilian has resigned 26 months ahead of the 2010 World Cup to attend to family matters and his seriously ill wife, Leila, who has cancer.

Parreira’s duties will be taken over by assistant Jairo Leal and second assistant Pitso Mosimane until an appropriate successor has been found.

Parreira said he deeply regrets having to abandon his post at this crucial stage.

“There is no winner in this decision — I am not saying there will be losers, but there are no winners.

“It’s not good for me to break the contact in the middle when things are going well. It’s not good for Safa to change the coach in the process of building. But the vision is there, the philosophy is there and we are going to help to make sure that it will continue.”

The coach said he believes Bafana’s preparation for the World Cup, which showed promise with a 3-0 victory over Paraguay last month, will continue its steady improvement.

“By the time of the Confederations Cup [in 2009] and the World Cup, everything will be in place. The first part of the job has been achieved and now it is the continuity. We are sure we are on track for the World Cup and the success will come.”

Explaining the chronology of events that led to yesterday’s official announcement, Safa president Molefi Oliphant said he was first contacted by CEO Raymond Hack about Parreira’s request to resign on April 4.

At a meeting on April 7, attended by Hack, Oliphant, Parreira and Leal, the coach indicated it was difficult to focus on the preparation of the team due to his wife’s health, and asked to resign.

Oliphant said he made three proposals to Parreira: “One, that he assumes the responsibility of being technical adviser. Two, that when he relinquishes his position, the technical staff [Leal and Mosimane] should remain. Three, that he assist Safa to search for a coach that will take his vision forward.”

Parreira accepted the proposals on April 14.

“Parreira has been in a position to speak to a number of coaches and at a later stage, we will announce who a possible coach will be,” Oliphant said.

The Safa president denied there had been a veil of secrecy over the coach’s decision, and that an announcement was to have been made on May 2, but the story became known sooner, after Leila Parreira was quoted in the Brazilian press on Friday saying her husband was to quit. “It is not a secret. In all negotiations there must be a period of confidence,” he said.

On the coach’s contractual obligations, Hack said: “Negotiations have taken place and it is an amicable agreement”.

Parreira was paid R1,8 million a month by Safa, but, because he resigned, the remainder of his

R100 million contract over four years will not be paid out.

The coach, who began coaching Bafana in January last year, said he had been left no choice in his decision.

“I took the job because South Africa is going to host the next World Cup. It’s the biggest event in sport and it is my dream to go for my eighth World Cup.

“We worked very hard in these 15 months, but suddenly there were some problems. For 40 years I have kept a balance between my professional and family life, and now because of so many reasons I could not. I regret very much having to come to this decision. There is no other reason.

I would like to thank Safa, the LOC and everyone who supported us.”

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