Mzwakhe Ngwenya
2 minute read
31 May 2014
11:00 am

Don’t give up on Gordon

Mzwakhe Ngwenya

Gordon Igesund may have led Bafana Bafana for the last time in Auckland against New Zealand yesterday, but former national players urged the South African Football Association (Safa) to rethink their decision and keep the experienced mentor in his current role.

LOCAL FLAVOUR. South African-born Storm Roux, left, of New Zealand is held back by Bafana's Ayanda Patosi during their international friendly at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland yesterday. The match ended in a 0-0 draw. Picture: Getty Images.

Safa’s top brass, who meet in Johannesburg today for their quarterly meeting, are expected to reveal their plans for the appointment of Carloz Queiroz as the new Bafana coach.

Queiroz has been head coach for clubs in Portugal, Japan, Spain and the United States but the glittering highlight on his CV is his tenure as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.

He was Bafana Bafana’s coach until being controversially sacked after helping them qualify for the 2002 World Cup, while he has also qualified Portugal (2010) and Iran (2014) for the World Cup. He is the current Iran head coach.

This week Safa president Danny Jordaan revealed that the new Bafana coach needed to be appointed as soon as possible as qualifiers for the next year’s Africa Cup of Nations are due to start in September.

Igesund’s contract with Safa expires in August.

Former Bafana marksman Phil Masinga said while change is inevitable, it was not a good move to chop and change.

“I honestly think that chopping and changing never helps,” Masinga said. “Someone new may not help matters.

“Whoever comes in must start from scratch and build a new team and that will take time.”

Masinga maintains that Bafana’s success had never come through foreign coaches.

“Look at how we won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1996,” he said.

“It was Clive Barker, a local man.

“So I do not think taking the foreign option will help us.”

Masinga’s captain at Bafana, Neil Tovey, lamented the pursuit of a foreign coach and said Safa should let Igesund continue.

“I feel he did a lot of damage control from the previous coach (Pitso Mosimane),” Tovey said.

“He has unfinished business with Safa. Gordon must continue.”

Tovey said Safa are like Mamelodi Sundowns, who had for many years thought the only way to win the PSL was through a foreign coach.

“That all changed when the Brazilians won the Absa Premiership title earlier this month under the guidance of a local coach in Mosimane.

“Sundowns had all along hired foreign coaches but it was a local guy who won it for them,” said Tovey.

Igesund failed in his mandates to guide South Africa to at least the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations on home soil last year, and secondly to ensure Bafana qualified for next month’s World Cup in Brazil.