23 April, 2008

A huge setback for Bafana

By Kobus Pretorius

Carlos Alberto Parreira has resigned as coach of Bafana Bafana. A shocking development some may say, especially if you take into account the recent performances of the national soccer team. They beat a highly rated Paraguay less than a month ago.

So why this bold step by Parreira?

Instead of getting cynical and blaming a whole lot of people, not least of all Parreira, there is a simple explanation for the highly rated coach wanting to return to his native Brazil.

It’s a word that most people embrace and protect because family is the most important thing in the world. And it seems that is exactly the way Parreira feels because he has just walked away from R1, 8 million a month to be with his wife who is reported to be suffering from cancer. Another reason, apparently, is that he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren.

For most people it would be a no-brainer. Others may take a little while longer to see the bigger picture. After all, we are talking about R1, 8 million tax-free every month for the next two years at least.

So you can’t really blame him for quitting can you? Of course not. Especially not at his age where any normal person would like to take life a bit easier and spend it with their family. I mean, at 65, wouldn’t you?

Nevertheless, it doesn’t make the SA Football Association’s dilemma any easier. They now have to search for a coach before Bafana play a host of qualify matches at the end of next month for the Confederations Cup in 2009.

Apparently Parreira has pointed out a few potential successors with quite a few Brazilians among them. These include current Flamengo coach Joel Santana and Internacional boss Abel Braga.

Other high profile coaches linked to the post is current Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson. Scolari won the World Cup with Brazil back in 2002 and took Portugal to the Euro 2004 final and World Cup semi-finals in 2006.

The bad news for Safa is that Scolari’s contract with Portugal only expires in June after Euro 2008. It may not be possible for them to wait that long to make an appointment as Bafana have a few crucial qualifying games as stated earlier before that.

Another option can be to give the job, albeit temporarily, to Parreira’s assistants, Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane. This would insure a certain amount of consistency until a permanent replacement can be found.

It is therefore likely that Safa will again look at an international coach before they consider local talent.

At least we know they are not scared to throw a lot of money around to make sure the team is a success.


SNP English River said...

Hi guys,

This is the first time I'm reading about Carlos' resignation. Surely it's a blow for the Bafana. But hey life goes on. We adopt and progress.

Nice project you have here. The variety of topics you're reporting on, will surely encourage people to keep coming back.

I know your cordinator personally. I'm convince she'll do a great job. Keep at it.

Kind regards, Gervais

Future Journalists Programme said...


Honestly, Parreira is sure leaving with a lot of South African millions. But hey, what can one do in such circumstances? I would do the same, so i'm not blaming him. As for the new guy, Santana, he has a world acclaimed reputation. So why doubt his capabilities? I think we should give him a chance. The only worry i have is that SAFA is so quick to dismiss coaches, in the early days for that matter just because they haven't performed! But how do you weigh someones performance in just a few months. This time around each coach must be given ample time to prove themselves, a year at most. So, i truly home Safa will not give santana a hide time, when in actual fact, the body itself must be dealing with their own political agenda cooking in the pot.