Igesund’s job safe for now
Dennis Mumble, chief executive of the SA Football Association (Safa), will meet with Gordon Igesund tomorrow to discuss the future of the national team, but the Bafana Bafana coach’s job seems safe for now.
Mumble said he would continue to hold talks with Igesund to map the way forward for Bafana following their loss to Ethiopia in a World Cup qualifier at the weekend.
“We’ll meet as part of a series of meetings to map the way forward,” Mumble said after the national team arrived in Johannesburg yesterday.
“We’ll have to have a discussion with the coach. I have an ongoing engagement with the coach – I meet him two or three times a week, normally once on a Wednesday.”
Bafana, meanwhile, could be handed a lifeline after Fifa launched an investigation into an allegation that Ethiopia fielded an ineligible player in a qualifying match against Botswana earlier this month.
Pending the outcome, South Africa could still have a chance to top their qualifying group with a win in their final fixture against Botswana in September.
When Igesund took charge of the national team in June last year, he was given a double mandate to reach the semi-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations – they were eliminated in the quarter-finals in February – or qualify for the 2014 Fifa World Cup.
Mumble, however, said he was pleased with the way Igesund had turned around the team’s performances, following a lengthy dry spell before he took over from former coach Pitso Mosimane.
“All of us are happy with the performance of Gordon and where he has taken this team,” he said.
“When he came here in July (2012), you know where that team was and where the team is now.
“The team is at a high. Unfortunately we didn’t deliver early on, either at home or close to home, but nobody can fault the coach.
“You lose one and you don’t go through, so I don’t think we’re unhappy with the coach.”
Safa president Kirsten Nematandani also believed Igesund had done a stellar job, despite struggling to meet his mandate.
“I think everyone will agree the coach has done well to be where we are,” Nematandani said.
“Of course we set out certain requirements for the coach, but under normal circumstances a coach will be hired for a term of four years in terms of the World Cup.”
Nemantandani believed Bafana would continue to make headway with Igesund at the helm.
“He jumped in at the last minute and we must take this process forward through the right technical team.
“He’s the best coach we have. If we need to make progress, this is the coach.”