Romao in line for job as coach

2016-04-06 06:00

THE Portuguese coach Jose Romao is in the country to finalise terms with the South African Football Association (Safa) for the position of head coach of the Bafana Bafana side, replacing embattled coach Shakes Mashaba after a disastrous African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign.

Safa appears to have run out of patience with Mashaba after he had failed to qualify his side for the Afcon tournament in Gabon next year.

Mashaba refused to answer questions about his future following the frustrating goalless draw against Cameroon and became agitated when questions about his future arose in a press conference after the game. has learned, however, that Mashaba became aware of rumours of Safa’s courting Romao earlier that day, explaining his outburst in the media conference.

“Shakes knew he was on thin ice and maybe even expected to be sacked if things didn’t go their way against Cameroon. He was hurt to find out that the leadership were already looking for his replacement ahead of the match. He found out through the grapevine. I think that was unfair, but at that point he thought it was just rumours,” a source within Safa said.

“The next day he became aware that the rumours were true. I think he deserved better, but we are all excited about the new coach. It’s a tough game.

“One day you’re the toast of the town and the next, you’re nothing. Romao has a tough job on his hands, but new brooms sweep clean.”

It is understood that Romao came highly recommended to a cash-strapped Safa, after Carlos Queiroz turned down the paltry offer from his former employers. Safa were shopping around for a coach outside the country, but the football federation are said to be tied down by budget constraints.

“The leadership approached Carlos Quiroz for the job a couple of weeks ago, but the former coach didn’t find the offer enticing enough. He recommended they look at his good friend Romao and they took his advice,” said the source. “The Safa National Executive Committee are set to meet and they’re hoping to finalise the appointment at their meeting and make the announcement on Monday (11/04).”

Romao, a former Portugal assistant coach and former Portugal u.21 coach and currently holding the head coach position at FAR Rabat in Morocco, reportedly received the news of Safa’s interest straight from Queiroz and was contacted a few days later. A deal was reached in principle, but final terms are still on the table. Romao, it is said, offered to travel to the country to have a look around Johannesburg before signing the final deal.

“Representatives from Safa have been going around Johannesburg showing the coach and his wife around. He loves the place,” said the source.

“FAR Rabat are aware of the developments and he’s here with their blessing. I’m told his assistant at the club has been lined up to replace him there. They’re happy for him and believe he deserved a shot at coaching a national team.”

It is not clear whether Mashaba has officially been released of his duties.

Profile of Romao:

Date of Birth: 13 April 1954 (61)

Place of Birth: Beja, Portugal

Playing career: 1970-1984 (winger)

Coaching career highlights: 1984Z1986 Vizela, 1986Z1989 Penafiel, 1989Z1990 Chaves, 1990 Vitória Setúbal, 1991Z1992 Chaves, 1992Z1993 Famalicão, 1993Z1994 Belenenses, 1995 Tirsense, 1996Z1997 Chaves, 1998 Académica, 1999Z2000 Alverca, 2000Z2002 Portugal (assistant), 2002Z2004 Portugal u.21, 2005Z2006 Wydad Casablanca, 2007Z2008 Al-Arabi, 2009Z2010 Raja Casablanca, 2010Z2011 Al-Kuwait, 2011Z2014 Al-Arabi, 2014Z2015 Raja Casablanca, 2015 FAR Rabat.

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