Belgian Hugo Broos is now the leading candidate to be named the new head coach of Bafana Bafana, Phakaaathi understands.
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The decision to go for Broos, who led Cameroon to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title in Gabon, comes after Carlos Queiroz last weekend turned down the South African Football Association’s approach.
Safa had planned to announce Queiroz at a press conference on Saturday, but ended up having to backtrack, blaming Covid-19 travel restrictions for the delay.
“Nothing had been decided yet, we are still finalising the new coach,” said Safa Head of Communications Dominic Chimhavi.
Local coaches Benni McCarthy, Gavin Hunt and Pitso Mosimane were also believed to have been on a shortlist handed over by Safa’s technical committee to the Safa National Executive Committee on Saturday, but a source told Phakaaathi that they have gone for an “overseas coach.”
Broos, 69, is a free agent and would be able to join immediately, with Safa needing a new head coach as quickly as possible, given that the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers start in June, with games against Zimbabwe and Ghana.
Cameroon’s triumph at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations came as a surprise, as Broos led a team without many star names to a 2-1 victory over Egypt in the final.
He was, however, sacked by Cameroon in December of the same year, after failing to qualify the team for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia, as they finished third in their group, some six points behind Nigeria.
Broos has limited experience of coaching on the continent beyond his spell with Cameroon – he did take up the reins at Algeria’s JS Kabylie in 2014, but left in the same year, saying he feared for his life after one of his strikers, Cameroonian Albert Ebosse, was killed by a projectile thrown from the stands.