Johannesburg - The South African Football Association have acknowledged that it is “possible” Gordon Igesund’s future as Bafana Bafana coach will be decided as early as Saturday.
And Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble has said that if there is a new coach, it will be a case of head-hunting, and not advertising the position.
Igesund will take charge for the final game of his current contract as Bafana coach in a friendly against New Zealand in Auckland on Friday (kick-off 9.30am SA time). The following day, the Safa national executive committee will have their regular quarterly meeting in Johannesburg, with the matter of the Bafana Bafana coaching position very much on the table.
“It is not so much about the future of Gordon Igesund, but the appointment of a national team coach. So if it is Igesund, he will need certainties so he can prepare the team for the Nations Cup qualifiers at the end of September,” said Mumble.
“If it is not him, we need to be able to give the new coach sufficient time to prepare.
“One thing we would do is headhunt a coach, because this thing of advertising the position doesn’t work … we have been through that a number of times and we need the best of the best.
“It is possible (that Igesund’s future will be decided on Saturday) but I am not going to say that … we want to deal with the principles of the recruitment process. We are not meeting again until August or September and by then it will be too late. We need an empowering resolution for us to finalise the matter of the coach.
“We will get some feedback from the technical committee who will advise the NEC on the way forward.”
Speculation has been rife for some time that Igesund will not survive the end of his contract (it expires at the end of July), with former Bafana coach Carlos Queiroz heavily linked to a return to the job. Queiroz would only potentially be available after his World Cup 2014 campaign with Iran.
“Whoever we identify, if it needs to be (a wait) until after the World Cup (it can), but I don’t want to create speculation. We will look at Gordon Igesund and his tenure very objectively and see on that basis what the technical committee recommends.”
The Safa chief executive also stressed that whoever is appointed, the emphasis would not be on the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, but the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“I must emphasise that we are not looking to appoint a coach to go and win Afcon 2015. They must qualify but the long-term vision is to qualify for 2018 and do well in 2018,” added Mumble.
“Afcon is not the key objective for whoever is the new coach, Gordon or someone else. Our plan is long term because we know the state of SA football. A new coach must not come and plan (only) for short term results.”