Bafana coach must learn to Samba

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Bafana_Phokeng5 Gallo Images Bafana Bafana look set to play Brazil in an away fixture in September.

The SA Football Association (Safa) on Wednesday confirmed they were in negotiations with Brazil’s football bosses for a friendly between Bafana Bafana and the South American giants in September.

Safa chief executive Robin Petersen said he would only confirm the fixture once a contract had been signed with the Brazil FA, but stated an agreement was close. “Yes, we are talking to them, but until we have an official contract we won’t announce this fixture,” Petersen said. “We want it to be an away fixture, and we will look to use the other September Fifa date a few days after that.”

If the fixture materialises, it would be only the fourth meeting between Bafana and one of world football’s superpowers. South Africa have played Brazil three times – all in Johanneburg – with the last outing being the Fifa Confederations Cup semi-final in June 2009. Bafana have lost all three games against the Selecao.

Facing them in their backyard would be a tough start for a new Bafana coach, expected to be either Gordon Igesund or Steve Komphela. The Star understands Safa’s technical committee which conducted interviews recommended Komphela for the job, although the national executive committee, which convenes on June 30, will have the final say on the matter.

A Safa insider said the NEC could be swayed by public sentiment in making their decision, with Igesund hugely favoured due to his impressive club record. “Choosing Igesund would absolve Safa of blame should anything go wrong because the public wants him,” said a Safa informant, who requested not to be named as the matter will only be finalised next week. “But the technical committee was impressed with Komphela, and deemed his presentation the best.”

Both men will present their case to the Safa hierarchy next weekend, after which one of them will be unveiled as Pitso Mosimane’s replacement.

Petersen confirmed the new man won’t earn in the same region as Mosimane, who pocketed R800 000 per month.

“We realise that kind of salary is not sustainable,” the Safa CEO said. “We will re-look the entire package and our revenues going forward.”

But there’s little doubt that Mosimane’s axing will cost the cash-strapped Safa hugely.

Petersen said the organisation had written to Mosimane’s lawyers responding to his threats of taking Safa to the CCMA if he’s not compensated for his sacking two years before the conclusion of his contract.

Meanwhile, Bafana’s Brazilian assistant coach Jairo Leal may have been with the team for the last time during last week’s friendly against Gabon. It is understood Leal, who has been in the country since 2007, will be removed from his position, but he’ll also demand an exit package as he, like Mosimane, was poised to leave only in 2014. – The Star

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