THE race for the Bafana Bafana coaching job is now down two men and either Frenchman Hervé Renard or Mozambique-born Carlos Queiroz will be introduced to the nation as new national team coach this week.
Insiders told Tiso Blackstar Group Digital that the South African Football Association (Safa) technical committee has recommended Queiroz for the vacant job but the former Real Madrid mentor’s salary demands are the final hurdle delaying his appointment.
Queiroz earned around R20-million a year as Iran coach and should Safa fail to reach an agreement with him‚ Renard will get the job.
The Bafana coaching seat that has been vacant since Ephraim ‘‘Shakes” Mashaba’s sacking in December and Safa hope to conclude salary negotiations and other related contractual discussions with one of the two men by today and announce the new man by Friday at the very latest.
Insiders said the length of the contract is expected to be another consideration and while qualifying for the 2018 World Cup is the ultimate goal‚ the new man must also keep another eye on the qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. Bafana play their opening 2019 Afcon qualifier against Nigeria in June.
Queiroz had appeared to be the favourite to get the job a couple of days ago and the technical committee — the committee includes former Bafana captain Lucas Radebe and erstwhile Sundowns boss Anastasia Tsichlas — confirmed the speculation when they made their recommendation to Safa.
But while Safa removed the affordability clause from the Bafana coach criteria‚ officials still want the new man’s salary to be within reason.
Queiroz is a regular visitor to South Africa as he has family based in Johannesburg. He is said to consider South Africa as his second home and it is no secret that he has close friends at Safa House‚ including Safa president Danny Jordaan and CEO Dennis Mumble.
He is also a former Bafana coach and understands the tricky political dynamics that govern South African football very well.
But given the furore that surrounded the revelation of Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira and his compatriot Joel Natalino Santana’s obscene salaries a few years ago (the former earned R1‚8-million per month while the latter took home R1‚4-million a month)‚ Safa could face objection to Queiroz unless he agrees to lower his demands.
Renard’s recent achievements on the continent give him a crucial advantage over Queiroz as he holds the unique distinction of winning the Nations Cup with Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015.
He is also a regular visitor to SA and has never hidden his desire to work in this part of the world at some stage in his career.
Safa are determined to make the announcement by Friday at the very latest as the new coach needs to start preparing for this month’s (March) friendly matches against Angola and Guinea-Bissau in Durban and Bloemfontein.
The Bafana job has been vacant since December when Safa fired Mashaba for a litany of indiscretions‚ including insubordination and bringing Safa into disrepute.
Mashaba is challenging his dismissal and his arbitration hearing has been set for March 7. — search regex