The Portuguese coach guided SA to arare World Cup qualification the last time he was in charge.
Indications are there that Carlos Queiroz could mark a return to the Bafana Bafana hot seat.
City Press has reliably learnt that the Portuguese national is among a few candidates who are set to make the short list of the Safa technical committee after much deliberation over who should fill the vacant post after Molefi Ntseki was fired three weeks ago.
Others who are strongly recommended are AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy and two-time Afcon-winning Frenchman Hervé Renard, according to those privy to the process.
Safa technical committee chairperson Jack Maluleka referred City Press to the association’s media department, and spokesperson Dominic Chimhavi said there would be a national executive committee (NEC) meeting yesterday.
He said the meeting would provide the technical committee with a platform to brief the NEC on the process to find Ntseki’s replacement.
City Press has gathered that the technical committee met yesterday and whittled down the list from about 200 to four, and would recommend only two to the NEC.
JORDAAN BREAKS HIS SILENCE
Safa president Danny Jordaan this week admitted that time was no longer on their side, with just six weeks to go before Bafana kick off their World Cup qualifying campaign against Zimbabwe in June.
Jordaan broke his silence after going to ground following Bafana’s failure to qualify for next year’s Afcon in Cameroon.
He was adamant that the team’s failure did not warrant his resignation, Jordaan told City Press in an exclusive interview on Wednesday.
Instead, he said he felt pity for Ntseki as conditions were not in the coach’s favour ahead of the final two qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan.
In the same breath, Jordaan said he believed that the decision to fire Ntseki was the right one.
“Yes, I think so ... Ntseki worked well with the players, but when you face such situations, that nine of your top line players are not available is the responsibility of the coach and his technical staff to see how he can mitigate this issue. And it is there where it is the coach’s responsibility, and experience will guide him.”
Jordaan added that he was not abdicating his responsibilities as leader of the association.
“Throughout world football, whether at club level or at international level, if the team fails, it is the coach – fortunately or unfortunately. That’s how football works. So 30 countries didn’t qualify [for Afcon], it means that it’s a failure of the 30 [football association] presidents.
“But it’s a reality of leadership. If there is success, you praise everybody else; if there is failure, you blame the leader. You can’t be a leader and expect that people will always praise you. Sometimes the people will criticise and throw stones, and sometimes you feel that it’s not rational or fair, but that’s besides the point. In leadership, you must accept criticism and when there’s disappointment and outpouring of emotion, you must accept it.”
As the search for a new Bafana coach nears its end, Jordaan said money would not be a hinderance for Safa.
The association is prepared to break the bank to get the best man for the job, even if it means buying the preferred candidate out of their contract.
“Success is the issue. Firstly, the country wants success. We are happy we have the players, with 65 playing all over Europe. We now have to find the coach to build a team and then compete,” he said.
Jordaan said the association could not be accused of not investing in local coaches, citing examples of Ntseki, Steve Komphela and Pitso Mosimane.
“When we had [Queiroz], we brought in Steve Komphela to be his assistant, understanding that one day we must give him the opportunity. When we had Stuart Baxter, we brought Ntseki. When we had Carlos [Parreira], we brought Pitso Mosimane and Pitso became the national team coach.
“When we had Vera Pauw [as Banyana Banyana coach], who is one of the top three best coaches in the world, we brought in Desiree Ellis. We paid to give Desiree the opportunity to be her assistant. They went to the Afcon together and the Rio Olympics, and at some point we felt that Desiree was ready and she has succeeded.”
Asked what lessons came out of having a so-called inexperienced coach in charge of Bafana, Jordaan said: “It’s right that we give local coaches an opportunity. We now have [Mosimane] coaching in Egypt and [Thabo Senong] coaching in Lesotho. They are products of the Safa coaching education; Safa gave them the opportunity. On the women’s side, we now have [Shilene Booysen] as the coach of the [South Sudanese] national women’s team. We never exported coaches before.
“Even if you look at club coaches. In the PSL, we used to have almost all the clubs coached by foreign coaches. Now we have South African coaches trained by Safa. This is our responsibility and we’ll continue to do so.”
As for the ongoing process to find a new coach, Jordaan said: “Once the technical committee finalises its process, it goes to the NEC. And if the NEC endorses the decision, then the chief executive must deal with the contractual issues.”
Queiroz (68), who was in charge of Colombia until December, enjoyed his fair share of success during his tenure with Bafana between October 2000 and February 2002.
He guided South Africa to the 2002 World Cup qualification, but was fired before the global tournament, which was co-hosted by Korea and Japan.
After his acrimonious departure, Queiroz went on to coach Real Madrid in LaLiga and also had a stint as assistant coach to decorated former Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson.
He also guided little-fancied Iran to the finals of the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.
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