Insure your car, home and valuables with iWYZE
Pitso Mosimane was fired as Bafana Bafana coach on Monday night after a marathon meeting with the SA Football Association’s two high-ranking officials in Phokeng.
Mosimane will still earn millions – for being sacked.
While the settlement figure to be paid out has not been disclosed, it could be as high as R20 million.
Safa, who dispatched vice-president Mwelo Nonkonyana and chief executive Robin Petersen to perform the role of executioners, released a statement today confirming Mosimane’s sacking, calling his departure two years before the end of his contract “amicable”.
It was anything but. Nonkonyana and Petersen arrived at the team hotel in Phokeng in separate cars just after 7pm but it was not before midnight that his firing was confirmed.
It is understood the main sticking point was the coach’s compensation, as he haggled for compensation because he earned about R800 000 a month and would cost R20-million to sack.
Petersen would not delve into details about the settlement of the coach’s contract, which was to expire in July 2014, saying “those contractual matters are private”, but there was no question as to the reasons Safa sacked Mosimane.
“Drawing in last 15 minutes of the game (against Ethiopia) made us realise we had to act now,” Petersen said.
“Even if we had had a scrappy win, we would have had to act. We should have won that match convincingly. Pitso doesn’t have a bad record, but the reality is we could not continue with this situation.”
Mosimane, who curiously was not dressed in team regalia like everyone else, departed the team’s Royal Marang hotel just after midnight and will be replaced by Steve Komphela for the forthcoming matches against Botswana (Saturday) in Gaborone and Gabon next Friday at Mbombela.
Petersen said a permanent replacement would be found before Bafana’s next game after that, in September. He threw into doubt the future of the rest of the technical team, as the new man would have the latitude to choose his own staff.
After his sacking, Mosimane asked that he formally bid farewell to the playing staff, who were also briefed by Petersen and Nonko-nyana about the decision.
A team official was then seen pushing a trolley, which contained Mosimane’s bags, heading to his sleek white Mercedes, as he took his final, painful walk out of the national camp.
Mosimane’s other assistant, Jairo Leal, who, too, was supposedly on the firing line, will stay on because sacking him alongside Mosimane would cost Safa a lot of money. Leal, who has been Bafana’s assistant, is said to earn in excess of R500 000 a month.
Before the meeting, Mosimane seemed relaxed and pleaded ignorance to news that he was about to be sacked. But then he appeared to have accepted his fate by stating “this is the life of a coach”.
Minutes after the impromptu interview with this reporter, he went into a six-hour meeting with Petersen and Nonkonyana.
As the trio haggled over compensation, Bafana players arrived via coach from Johannesburg after a day’s break they had been given by Mosimane after the 1-1 draw with Ethiopia on Sunday.
Players proceeded to have dinner before retreating to their rooms, where they waited several hours before the Safa executives allowed Mosimane to address them one final time.
The draw with Ethiopia in Bafana’s opening World Cup qualifier triggered a Safa emergency meeting yesterday morning, which also lasted several hours, before Petersen and Nonkonyana made the road trip from Johannesburg to Phokeng.
Mosimane’s tenure has been blighted by a series of poor results, where Bafana are winless for seven straight games over nine months.
He maintained he was blameless throughout this streak, pointing out that poor development structures had let him down. But Safa executives found his excuses too lame and opted to pull the trigger last night.
Meanwhile, Petersen denied Safa had approached Gordon Igesund, the Moroka Swallows coach, in view of replacing Mosimane on a full-time basis. “There’s absolutely no truth in that.”