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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