at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Cape Town – While Carlos Queiroz was spotted hobnobbing with some members of the South African Football Association during the African Nations Championship (Chan), Safa boss Danny Jordaan says they have not talked to the Portuguese about coaching Bafana Bafana.
Queiroz has been linked to a return to the Bafana hot seat following South Africa’s dismal performance during Chan. The former Manchester United assistant coach was in charge of South Africa’s football team between 2000 and 2002, and helped them qualify for the 2002 World Cup. But he left his post before the showpiece event after citing interference from his bosses.
Current coach Gordon Igesund’s contract runs out in June, and it was reported over the weekend that Queiroz could take over after he fulfils his duties with Iran at the World Cup in Brazil in June and July.
However, Jordaan denied that they have been in contact with the former Real Madrid manager, saying that he was in the country on a scouting mission.
“Carlos Queiroz was here to check out Nigeria, who are in the same group as Iran at this year’s World Cup. He was also supporting the country of his birth, Mozambique,” Jordaan told a press conference in Cape Town on Monday.
“We have not discussed any job offer with him. There have also been rumours about Lothar Matthaeus and Glenn Hoddle. But we have a coach, Gordon Igesund is our coach and he has a contract.”
If Queiroz does take over from Igesund, he will not be coming cheap. His current contract with Iran is worth about R22million a year, and he might want a few clauses in his contract stating that Safa cannot interfere in team selection or anything else relating to the team.
Jordaan, who is involved with strategy meetings with members of Safa this week, said they are still awaiting Igesund’s report on Chan, and will sit down with the coach this week to discuss the team’s exit at the group stages of the tournament.
“We still have not received any report or discussed (Chan). So we are going to meet Gordon,” Jordaan said. “The NEC will also meet later this week to pave the way forward for Bafana.”
Sports minister Fikile Mbalula said on Monday he will respect Safa’s decision if they want to appoint Queiroz or any other coach.
Mbalula went in to bat for Igesund after Chan, and decided to blast the players the day after their 3-1 defeat to Nigeria sent them crashing out of the tournament.
“I know Carlos, but it’s up to Safa to decide who they want to lead the team. It’s not my call, and we will respect their decision,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mbalula says he still “loves” Bafana despite calling the team “losers” and a bunch of “useless individuals”. He also says that he isn’t angry after Bafana midfielder Lerato Chabangu called him a “loser” last week.
“I don’t hate you (Bafana), I love you very much and I forgive you,” Mbalula said. “You will be throwing a good love away.
“They might not know it now, but one day they will realise that they must respect a person who is telling the truth, and not someone leading them to failure.
“I will never celebrate mediocrity, but we must close this chapter now and move forward to make Bafana a success.”