Safa act against Bafana player agents

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iol spt apr19 Jordaan

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Safa president Danny Jordaan Photo by Ziyaad Douglas/Gallo Images

South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan said yesterday player agents will be barred from having contact with the Bafana Bafana team while they are in camp.

Even though Bafana coach Gordon Igesund was cleared of allegations that player agents had an influence on his team selection, Jordaan said there would be security at the team hotel to ensure agents are nowhere near the team.

Some players were picked even though they were not on form, triggering accusations agents were playing a role in team selection.

Jordaan said Safa would ensure Igesund discusses his team selection with the technical director and other leading individuals before the team is announced.

“We agreed that, one, we will not sign a contract with a coach via a players’ agent. That’s clear. Two, when the team go into the team hotel, security have the responsibility to make sure there are no player agents in that hotel. They cannot be booked into the same hotel.

“The third point is that when it comes to the selection of the national team, there must be a clear selection criteria. The coach must not select a team as an island in itself. The technical director must be part of that process and other leading individuals must be part of that process as well. Yes, the buck stops with the coach, but it must be a collective. This matter has to be finalised by the technical committee,” Jordaan said.

Igesund – also found not guilty of allegedly pushing players to demand bonuses during the Chan tournament in January – had always maintained that he was innocent, but it’s still highly unlikely that his contract will be renewed when it expires late this year.

Igesund will take Bafana Down Under for friendlies against Australia and New Zealand next month, likely to be his last trip as Bafana coach.

Jordaan could not say if the coach will still have his job when the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers begin later this year. Carlos Queiroz, the former Bafana coach, is in the country with World Cup-bound Iran and is said to be the next national team coach.

“Gordon’s integrity is intact, so he must continue with his job for now. But a proper evaluation will be made (after the Australia and New Zealand matches) of his performance against the criteria and targets set in his contract. That will be the final evaluation.”

Jordaan added: “If the allegations were true, it would have led to a dismissal. The matter has been settled on the basis that there are no grounds.”

Meanwhile, advocate Norman Arendse revealed that some Bafana players backed away from testifying against Igesund, but insists the investigation was not compromised by their request to testify off the record.

Arendse headed a task team appointed by Safa to investigate the allegations against Igesund.

He said there is no basis to substantiate any of the allegations made against the underfire coach. Captain Itumeleng Khune is said to have been one of the players who testified, but Arendse was not willing to say who came forward to speak, nor was he comfortable disclosing how many players accepted the invitation sent out to players by the task team to testify against the coach.

“We are satisfied we got the full version from the players.” - Saturday Star


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