Bafana Bafana

SAFA cries foul over media reports linking Benni McCarthy to Bafana Bafana job

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Benni McCarthy (Gallo Images)
Benni McCarthy (Gallo Images)

The South African Football Association (SAFA) released a scathing statement on Sunday about the widespread media speculation on whether Benni McCarthy will be named the new Bafana Bafana head coach.

The former Celta Vigo, Porto FC, Blackburn Rovers, and Orlando Pirates striker is hotly tipped to take over as national coach when the DStv Premiership season concludes at the end of May ahead of the much-anticipated 2022 World Cup qualifiers starting in June.

McCarthy, 43, arrived back in South Africa from Scotland in mid-December last year to take over as head coach of AmaZulu during trying times at the KwaZulu-Natal side.

However, the Bafana Bafana legend worked his magic, taking Amaqhawe - who are under new ownership since October 2020 - from fighting to avoid relegation to vying for league title credentials in under five months since.

McCarthy was said to be among the top five names alongside Carlos Queiroz, Pitso Mosimane, Hugo Broos and Herve Renard for the Bafana gig, which became vacant in March after SAFA sacked Molefi Ntseki after less than 18-months as the national sides mentor.

SAFA has now said that the National Executive Committee (NEC) has yet to decide who will become the new coach despite strong rumours already suggesting that McCarthy has already accepted the job.

According to City Press, McCarthy will lure his former Bafana Bafana team-mates and the current AmaZulu backroom staff of Siyabonga Nomvethe and Moeneeb Josephs as part of his technical team at Bafana Bafana.

"We have noted that various publications over the last week have reported the appointment of new Bafana Bafana coach as having been concluded," the statement read.

"Firstly, it was Carlos Queiroz, then Pitso Mosimane and most recently AmaZulu coach Benni McCarthy.

"SAFA has always stated that the Technical Committee will submit their final recommendations to the SAFA NEC, the highest decision-making body, which will finally make the announcement once the process is concluded.

"We note that the Benni McCarthy's name comes at a time when AmaZulu are top of the log standings, and it might appear that SAFA wants to derail the club's good run.

"We are happy with AmaZulu's current good run, but SAFA will announce the new incoming coach once the issue is dealt with by the NEC."

Meanwhile, South Africa are in a tricky World Cup qualifying Group G with neighbours Zimbabwe, Ghana and Ethiopia.

Bafana will first face a trip to Zimbabwe in their opening World Cup qualifier group fixture on 5-8 June, before hosting group favourites Ghana, a week later, between 11-14 June.

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