CAPE TOWN - Benni McCarthy – record Bafana Bafana goal-scorer, world star, member of the SA Football Association technical committee to appoint the next national team coach…
But even the man in the “18 area” doesn’t know what’s causing the delay in choosing a replacement for the fired Shakes Mashaba.
First, Safa were due to name someone in February. Then it became March, April, and now we’re in the first week of May.
And guess what, Bafana are supposed to play Nigeria away in an African Cup of Nations qualifier next month!
The negotiations with apparent favourite Stuart Baxter has been hampered to such an extent that SuperSport United, his current employers, are reportedly giving Safa a final, final deadline of this week – even today – to conclude the deal.
If not, they will have to look for someone else…
“I thought I was part of a group that was doing good to find the new coach for Bafana, but I simply just don’t know what has happened,” McCarthy told the TimesLive website.
“What has stalled the process? This situation is a major bummer. There were good candidates, and I was expecting that by now, there would be a coach.
“But clearly, there is a hold-up somewhere, which I don’t have any knowledge of. What is the reason behind it? I’m in the same boat as you guys in the media.”
Mashaba’s assistant, Owen da Gama, was in charge of the two international friendlies at the end of March – a 3-1 win over Guinea-Bissau in Durban, and a goalless draw with Angola in East London.
Da Gama himself has put his name forward for the permanent post, but if anything, he may continue as the interim head coach for the Nigeria Afcon qualifier.
SuperSport United have insisted that they want Baxter to complete the club season before joining Bafana, if the coach and Safa do conclude a deal.