Safa officials were left in a state of panic after coach Carlos Queiroz snubbed them at the 11th hour, ahead of a planned announcement yesterday. Though Safa released a statement that the announcement of the new coach had been postponed to next week.
Yesterday, the Safa technical committee presented their reworked list of candidates to the national executive committee. Safa communications manager Dominic Chimhavi said that Safa CEO Tebogo Motlanthe had been tasked with finalising the matter of the new coach in the next couple of days.
On Wednesday night, Safa tweeted that the new Bafana coach was going to be announced yesterday. But it backtracked on Friday night, saying that the much-awaited press conference had been postponed “due to global Covid-19 travel issues”.
The Mozambique-born Queiroz was chosen by the technical committee as the man to lead Bafana after the unavailability of Pitso Mosimane and Benni Mccarthy. The new coach is to replace Molefi Ntseki, who was dismissed after he failed to take SA to the 2021 Afcon in Cameroon.
News reaching our sports desk is that despite Safa saying that money was not a problem, Queiroz was going to cost the association an arm and a leg, in the region of R50-million a year. It is alleged that he demanded about R40-million annually in 2017 when Safa courted him. It ended up with Stuart Baxter. Another matter of concern was that he is keen on building a team for the 2026 World Cup and may use the coming qualifiers to build his team.
“It was a done deal with Queiroz, now we are back to square one,” said a member of the technical committee. “I am not sure what happened after we recommended his name, but what I can tell you is that he is no longer coming.
“We have to meet urgently and come up with a new coach because time is not on our side. The World Cup qualifiers will be starting in a couple of weeks. I hope the guys in the office will explain to us why Carlos is no longer coming,” he added.
Another Safa insider said: “He is not looking for a job and is not available. There were no negotiations of finances yet, we had not reached that stage.”
Safa president Danny Jordaan will be highly disappointed because it is well-known that he is a big fan of Queiroz’s work.
The factors that worked in Queiroz favour getting the Bafana job was that he has a house in Johannesburg, and that one of his daughters is living in Mzansi.