Pitso set to score bumper payout

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iol spt june5 Pitso-millions Gallo Images Following his axing as Bafana coach, Pitso Mosimane could be in line for as much as a R20-million windfall from Safa.

While the settlement figure to be paid out to Mosimane has not been disclosed by the SA Football Association following his axing just after midnight last night, the former coach had another two years on his contract and earned an estimated R800 000 to R1 million a month, meaning that his payout could run as high as R20m.

After a day of marathon deliberations which started at 9am – first at a special Safa “emergency committee” meeting called to deal with the coaching crisis and then between a Safa delegation and Mosimane – Bafana Bafana players were called into a room in the team hotel just after midnight where Mosimane was allowed to formally bid them farewell.

Soon afterwards Mosimane was seen leaving the Royal Marang hotel without his trademark Bafana team kit. A team official was seen pushing a trolley with his bags to his sleek white Mercedes, as he took his final walk out of the national camp.

Mosimane was given his marching orders by two Safa heavyweights sent to negotiate with him – vice-president Mwelo Nonkonyana and chief executive Robin Petersen.

Shortly Just before 1am Safa released a statement to perform the role of executioners, released a statement confirming Mosimane’s sacking, calling Mosimane’s departure two years before the end of his contract “amicable”.

It was anything but. Nonkonyana and Petersen arrived at the team hotel in separate cars just after 7pm but it was not before midnight after a five-hour bout of wrangling that Mosimane’s firing was confirmed.

It is understood the main sticking point was the coach’s compensation, and they haggled over a settlement deal speculated to be in the region of R20 million.

Safa’s communications head Dominic Chimhavi declined to confirm whether reports of the massive sum were true this morning, saying that the reason for the lengthy meeting was specifically to find some kind of middle ground in negotiating the termination of his contract.

However, details of the agreement were still to be revealed.

The national soccer team’s recent weak performances and a poorly attended World Cup qualifier on Sunday sealed Mosimane’s fate had set SAFA on edge regarding the team’s performance, with rumours springing up yesterday about the fate of their coach.

But the drama surrounding the team’s management needed to be settled before the 2014 World Cup qualifier fixture against Botswana this coming Saturday.

The Emergency Committee was formed yesterday to examine Mosimane’s performance, mandating Nonkonyana and Petersen to manage the proceedings. Both Mosimane and his legal representatives attended the meeting at the Royal Marang Hotel in Phokeng near Rustenburg. According to the statement, “both parties agreed to part ways amicably in the best interests of both the country and the national team”.

The Safa statement revealed that Free State Stars head coach, and assistant Bafana coach to Bafana Bafana Steve Khompela, would take over as caretaker coach for the team’s 2014 World Cup qualifier fixture against Botswana this coming Saturday, while a decision on who would take over permanently was decided. A permanent replacement would be found, Petersen would not delve into details about 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.”

Petersen said aMosimane, who curiously was not dressed in team regalia like everyone else, departed the team’s Royal Marang hotel just after midnight.

Petersen denied Safa had approached Gordon Igesund, the Moroka Swallows coach, as a possible replacement but he has been tipped as Mosimane’s likely successor.

Safa President Kirsten Nematandani thanked Mosimane, saying they would be indebted to him for his work with the squad and wishing him well.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.

Mosimane’s other assistant, Jairo Leal, who was also said to be in the firing line, will stay on due to the fact that sacking him alongside Mosimane would cost Safa a lot of money. Leal, who has been Bafana’s assistant, is said to earn over R500 000 per month.

“The Association will be indebted to Mr Mosimane for the work he has done for SAFA since his appointment as head coach of Bafana Bafana and we wish him well in his future endeavours. This Association wants to place on record that Mr Mosimane is the only coach that has assisted Safa by donating a portion of his salary in the pursuit of the development agenda of the association”, he said. This included assisting ex-professional football players to attend coaching courses that is currently on-going at SAFA House,” said Safa President KirstenNematandani .

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