By Ernest Makhaya
Former Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz is tipped to take over the Bafana Bafana coaching job after the 2014 Fifa World Cup.
A source within the South African Football Association (Safa) has told Goal that an agreement will be effective from July 1, and has been reached between the two parties. However Queiroz has denied an agreement has been reached.
According to our source, Safa wanted Queiroz to take over immediately, but the Portuguese mentor expressed his desire to coach Iran in the Fifa World Cup this year.
"Carlos coming back again to coach Bafana," a source told Goal. "However, his contract will be effective from July this year, because the coach has expressed his desire to finish his job with Iran before starting on a new slate.
"Remember, he helped Iran qualify for the World Cup in Brazil, and therefore it only makes sense that he join us afterwards."
"So, I don't think Gordon Igesund will be sacked. I think he will see his contract through," added our source.
How far along Safa has progressed to sign up Queiroz remains to be seen, and might depend on other offers the Portuguese could receive after the World Cup. Queiroz hasn't signed on the dotted line yet, but they've had a discussion in principle, while Safa are still to meet with Igesund to discuss the subject. Through Iranian media Irna, Queiroz later denied that he's already reached an agreement with Safa.
Igesund's contract expires in June, and insider's have indicated that the new Safa leadership has opted not to renew the relationship that has lasted for almost two years. However his departure isn't officially cemented yet.
The former Pirates and Sundowns mentor coached Bafana in three African tournaments - Afcon 2013, Cosafa 2013, and Chan 2014 - during his tenure. He is by the far the most successful local coach in the history of the South African football, so it's perplexing that he won't be given more time, despite his excellent international record.
Igesund only lost one qualifying game, against Ethiopia due to a freak own goal by Bernard Parker, and won the rest of his games. He then famously beat world champions Spain in a friendly in Johannesburg.
Queiroz has the advantage with his international record, since he qualified South Africa for the 2002 Fifa World Cup, but resigned after his differences with the national association, leading to local coach Jomo Sono coaching Bafana in South Korea and Japan.
The former Portugal coach was unfairly under pressure when South Africa was knocked out of the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations quarter finals. In recent campaigns Bafana consistently failed to qualify for Afcon's and World Cups.
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