Safa dismiss Keshi, Bafana link

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iol spt june23 Keshi Getty Images Stephen Keshi says he will take his time to make the difficult decision of whether to return as coach of Nigeria. Photo: Phil Walter

Johannesburg – The SA Football Association (Safa) dismissed claims by Nigerian media houses that Stephen Keshi would take over as Bafana Bafana coach.

“Safa has never released a list of candidates that are on the short-list for the Bafana Bafana job,” Safa spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said on Monday.

“Keshi's name is part of a list of names bandied about by the media. The list was created by the media and the reports coming out of Nigeria are total fabrication.”

Chimhavi was reacting to unconfirmed reports out of Nigeria that Keshi – currently with the Nigerian national team at the World Cup in Brazil – had already signed a two-year contract and would take over as Bafana coach in July.

“There is no truth to those reports,” Chimhavi added.

“When the president of Safa, Mr Danny Jordaan, announced that Gordon Igesund's contract would not be extended, he made it clear that the new coach will be announced in July, following the conclusion of the World Cup.”

Last week, social media websites Twitter and Facebook were abuzz with reaction to the news that Iran coach Carlos Queiroz was about to sign a contract with Safa.

Safa denied reports that Queiroz was on his way back to South Africa, having already taken charge of Bafana in 2000.

The vacant Bafana post has seen more that its fair share of speculation since Igesund was told his contract had come to an end and he would not take the national team into the qualifying campaign for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, starting in September.

Keshi and Queiroz remain favourites to get the nod, though Safa has repeatedly said the “favourites” tag had been created and maintained by the media and not by any of its officials. – Sapa

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