Banyana Banyana interim coach and assistant coach Desiree Ellis. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG - SAFA CEO, Dennis Mumble, confirmed on Wednesday that Desiree Ellis is among one of three potential candidates who were interviewed as a suitable replacement for the long departed Vera Pauw for the vacant Banyana Banyana coaching post.

The inclusion of Ellis came right after the association failed to pin down their preferred European-based coach after both parties failed to come to an agreement during their negotiation talks.

“The technical committee has made three recommendations with regards to who should we appointed as the new Banyana coach,” said Mumble speaking at the launch of this year’s Clinix Stix Morewa Challenge at the Nike Football training Centre in Pimville, Soweto. 

“I’ve spoken to one of those candidates already and now I’m set to speak with another one this very week. I’m hoping to get done with this process soon enough and hopefully we’ll make that announcement very soon.

“If I say that this process will be done in a day or two, then you are going to come back at me a say that I’m useless because I didn’t stick to my word,” Mumble added. “The whole process will depend on the kind of response I’m going to get from these three potential Banyana coach candidates we have now.

"I can also confirm that Ellis was one of the three we interviewed. However, if she doesn’t get the job, she will still be part of the Banyana technical team serving as an assistant to whoever we might bring in.”

Mumble also explained that the individual who gets the coaching job, will also be tasked with developing coaches in the country, as he would hate a situation where Safa would have to go abroad in search for a new coach in the future again.

“Whoever we decide to appoint as head coach will also be given the responsibility of mentoring South African coaches,” Mumble said. “And the reason why I say that it’s because, we don’t want to find ourselves still hiring foreign coaches in the future to lead our national women’s team. We must be able to appoint one of our own as well.

The new Banyana coach's mandate will include guiding the side through the Africa Women Cup of Nations qualifiers to Ghana next year and finishing in the top three of that tournament to ensure qualification for the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup.

Meanwhile, Mumble hit back at both Gavin Hunt and Benni McCarthy after both coaches openly criticised the quality of officiating in the PSL. This followed questionable decisions by officials this past week, especially against McCarthy’s Cape Town City, who played to a 1-0 victory and a defeat to Polokwane City and Orlando Pirates, respectively.

Mumble said although both of their grievances might prove to be legitimate, both parties knew the proper channels to go about to have this matter handled properly.

“I must caution that there’s a limit with regards to coaches coming out to criticize match officials publicly,” Mumble said. “I cannot allow that to continue because they know the process with regards to how to go about handling the whole situation, and what processes they should follow to have their views heard. 

"There are two review sittings that take place every week to deal with such issues. These meeting take place both on Tuesdays and Thursdays where matches are reviewed by the referee’s technical committee.

"And if we are informed by this committee that those referees were deficient technically in their respective roles in those specific matches, then those match officials are going to be sanctioned.”

The Star

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