KAIZER MOTAUNG BURIES IGESUND
Coach's stint at Bafana at stake
KAIZER Motaung put what could be the final nail in Gordon Igesund s coffin this week when he disputed the Bafana Bafana coach s claims that goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune was injured ahead of the African Nations Championship (Chan) match against Nigeria in January. The revelation will bury Igesund, who is facing a probe by the South African Football Association (Safa) regarding his alleged involvement in an attempt by the national team players to strike over bonuses just hours before the start of the Chan tournament.
The Bafana players wanted to renegotiate the bonuses they had finalised with Safa months before the tournament, and Igesund allegedly pushed captain Khune into making the new demands. Instead, Khune communicated his discomfort to the Safa top brass.
Bafana bombed out in the group stages of the tournament after a 3-1 defeat to Nigeria in Cape Town – without Khune in the lineup.
Igesund cited “injury ” when dropping Khune, whose place was taken by goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs. This week, Motaung broke his silence, saying the “injury ” was exaggerated.
He said Khune would not have played in his club ’ s league match against Mamelodi Sundowns just days after Bafana ’ s Chan exit if he had not been fit.
“They [Bafana camp] sent him [Khune] back from the team, saying he was injured. But our medical team examined him and declared him fit,” said Motaung.
Igesund ’ s job is now hanging by a thread as Motaung ’ s revelation got advocate Norman Arendse interested.
Arendse heads the task team set up by Safa to investigate Igesund ’ s role in the bonus scandal.
The task team is investigating allegations of soccer agents influencing Bafana selections.
Arendse confirmed to Sunday World that Khune was one of the key witnesses who will be asked to give evidence.
Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble and head of delegation Gerald Don – who had oversight of the players while they were in camp in Cape Town during the Chan tournament – are on the list of 16 witnesses.
‘ There is a lot at stake for the national team coach. His reputation is at stake,” said Arendse.
Igesund referred all inquiries about Khune ’ s injury to Bafana doctor Carl Tabane, who insisted that the goalkeeper was injured ahead of the Nigeria encounter.
‘‘ I want to make this clear to all and sundry that after our secondlast game [against Mali], Khune called me and complained about his ankle,” said Tabane.
A Safa insider told Sunday World that Igesund will not be in charge when Bafana travel to Sydney to play against Australia in a friendly match in May.
Ephraim ‘‘ Shakes ” Mashaba is expected to take over as interim coach.
Arendse ’ s task team will convene from April 2 to 5, and their final report will be handed to Safa ’ s national executive committee on April 15.
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