QUEIROZ QUITS RACE FOR COACH

CityPress - - Front Page - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Carlos Queiroz has bolted out of the Bafana Bafana coach­ing race.

The Mozam­bique-born men­tor was a hot favourite to suc­ceed Ephraim Shakes Mashaba in the Bafana hot seat.

How­ever, City Press can to­day re­veal that Queiroz is no longer in the run­ning for the va­cant po­si­tion.

A highly placed SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) source said the coach had contractual is­sues with Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran, where he is the head coach.

There were reports that he had re­signed from his post, but ap­par­ently the fed­er­a­tion is reluc­tant to let him go.

The Safa in­sider said Queiroz, who was the pre­ferred can­di­date out of the five-man short list, had asked not to be con­sid­ered any more be­cause of the on­go­ing bat­tle with his em­ployer.

This week, Safa was forced to resched­ule the nam­ing of the coach to next week.

On Fri­day, the as­so­ci­a­tion is­sued a terse state­ment via its Twit­ter ac­count, which said the new coach was not avail­able for a press con­fer­ence this week – when the an­nounce­ment was ex­pected to have been made.

“The nam­ing of new @BafanaBafana coach has been post­poned to next week as we need the coach avail­able at the press con­fer­ence!” the tweet read.

But City Press can re­veal that there is no coach at the mo­ment.

The se­lec­tion panel had to be con­vened on Fri­day to go through the process again, fol­low­ing Queiroz’s U-turn.

“We have to go to plan B now be­cause our first tar­get is no longer avail­able,” said the in­sider.

“We didn’t see this com­ing, but we have a few op­tions up our sleeves.”

The source said Hervé Re­nard and Hugo Broos were now in the pic­ture.

He also said Bid­vest Wits coach Gavin Hunt and for­mer Or­lando Pi­rates men­tor Ruud Krol should not be ig­nored.

“Now that Hervé is avail­able af­ter he re­signed from Morocco, his name is in the hat and we will now en­gage all of them and see if we meet their fi­nan­cial de­mands,” said the in­sider.

Af­ter lead­ing Cameroon to the Africa Cup of Na­tions cham­pi­onship in Gabon last month, Broos is seen as the dark horse if Re­nard is not avail­able.

Re­nard has also been linked with the Ghana, Sene­gal and Ivory Coast na­tional teams.

It is un­clear if he re­signed from his post as Morocco na­tional team coach be­fore or af­ter the team’s as­sis­tant coach, Mustapha Hadji, in­sisted that Re­nard was not leav­ing the At­las Lions.

The se­lec­tion panel is rac­ing against the clock to get their man in place be­fore the end of the month for Bafana’s friendly games.

Safa has lined up two matches for Bafana – against An­gola in Durban and Guinea-Bis­sau in Bloem­fontein.

PHOTO: AMIN MO­HAM­MAD JAMALI / GETTY IM­AGES

OUT OF THE PIC­TURE Carlos Queiroz is out of the run­ning for the Bafana coach­ing job

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