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“To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are.” – Muhammad Ali

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pitso Mosimane sacked as Bafana coach

Eish! Pitso Mosimane
Pitso Mosimane has been sacked as coach of Bafana Bafana.

The last straw, it seems, was South Africa’s 1-1 draw with Ethiopia in Bafana’s first 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier on Sunday.

The game at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium had been seen as a new start for Mosimane and Bafana after the disappointment of failing to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations.

However, in the end, Bafana had to rely on a 77th minute equaliser from Katlego Mphela to salvage a point against a side ranked 138th in the world.

It was the seventh game in a row without a win for Bafana and Mosimane’s fate was sealed at an executive meeting of the South African Football Association (Safa) last night.

Assistant coach Steve Komphela will now take charge of South Africa’s next two matches – a crucial World Cup qualifier against Botswana in Gaborone on Saturday, and an international friendly against Gabon in Johannesburg later this month.

“Drawing in the last 15 minutes of the game (against Ethiopia) made us realise we had to act now,” a Safa statement reads.

The statement, issued early this morning, says Safa held an Emergency Committee meeting yesterday “to evaluate the performance of Bafana Bafana as a direct result of the first 2014 World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Ethiopia held on Sunday”.

It says the Emergency Committee “considered the reports that were tabled at the meeting and mandated Safa vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana and the Ceo of Safa Dr. Robin Petersen to hold an urgent meeting with Mr. Pitso Mosimane to discuss the matter”.

This meeting was held at the Royal Marang Hotel in Phokeng near Rustenburg and during it “both parties agreed to part ways amicably in the best interests of both the country and the national team”.

More from Safa’s statement:

“The Association will be indebted to Mr. Mosimane for the work he has done for Safa since his appointment as head coach of Bafana Bafana and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”

The high point... beating Egypt at Ellis Park
“This Association wants to place on record that Mr. Mosimane is the only coach that has assisted Safa by donating a portion of his salary in the pursuit of the development agenda of the Association which included assisting the ex-professional football players to attend the coaching course that is currently on-going at Safa House,” Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said.

Ceo Petersen is quoted in the statement as saying: “We appeal to the nation to also support the caretaker coach, the technical team, the players and the whole team going forward. We have entered into a crucial period of World Cup qualification and we will need all hands on deck to ensure this country gets to Brazil in 2014, as well as perform admirably at the 2013 Afcon tournament that we will host”.

Moroka Swallows coach Gordon Igesund has been tipped to take over as Bafana coach on a permanent basis. Further details are expected from Safa later in the day.

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