Assessing the new Bafana Bafana coach
Posted: 25 July 2014 Time: 13:14
The South African Football Association will announce the new Bafana Bafana coach on Saturday, but just who it will be is still up in the air.
Unlike years gone by where the name was already known before the announcement, Safa have kept their cards very close to their chest this time around.
So KickOff.com looks as the front-runners and their chances of getting the job.
THE FAVOURITE – Carlos Queiroz
The Portuguese coach has been seen as the front-runner since before the World Cup, when he allegedly met with Safa officials during Iran’s pre-tournament camp in South Africa. What we know is that Queiroz is very keen to return ‘home’ to Africa (he was born in Maputo and owns a ranch in Botswana) and to take up the Bafana challenge, having qualified the team for the 2002 World Cup. His contract with Iran has come to an end, though they have tabled a new offer. Safa are very keen to have Queiroz, but their offer is not anywhere near what he has received from Iran, who according to a close associate of Quieroz will pay him two-and-a-half times more than what Safa offer. Quieroz accepts that Safa cannot match that, but would like to see them come closer. It is believed that Safa have tabled an improved offer, but whether it is enough remains to be seen.
Many South African fans’ pick for the job, Mashaba is believed to have strong support within the Safa Executive. However, there is a feeling among Safa’s top leaders that he does not embrace technology; that he is stuck in the past and is not the right man to take Bafana into a new era. Still, he has enjoyed success with the national Under-20s and could be the man to introduce some much need youth into the side.
THE DARK HORSE – Stephen Keshi
The Nigeria coach looked favourite for the Bafana job at one stage, with Safa reportedly having offered him the job during the World Cup. However, it was rejected out of hand as it was apparently even less than what Gordon Igesund earned. There is still talk that Keshi remains in the running, though the Nigeria Football Federation yesterday directed it’s technical committee to offer him a new contract.
The man credited with the turnaround in Barcelona’s fortunes, Rijkaard has international coaching experience with the Netherlands (who he guided to the Euro 2000 semi-finals) and Saudi Arabia. Rijkaard has an impressive CV, but has very limited knowledge of African football. A former Dutch national team star, he would presumably want a pay package closer to what Iran are offering Queiroz.
2012 Africa Cup of Nations-winning coach Herve Renard was linked, but has also been short-listed as one of five candidates for the Ivory Coast job and, as a French-speaker, he would find that job a better fit. Former Orlando Pirates coach Ruud Krol is currently without a job, has international experience with Tunisia and Egypt, and still has family in Johannesburg, but Safa have not shown much interest publicly. Fabio Cannavaro, Roberto Carlos and Patrick Kluivert have applied, but have very little coaching experience.