Johannesburg - South Africa parted ways with coach
Pitso Mosimane after the Bafana Bafana stretched its winless run to nine
games with a disappointing home draw with Ethiopia to start Soccer World Cup
qualifying over the weekend.
The South African Football
Association said on Tuesday it had parted with Mosimane "amicably"
following an emergency meeting on Monday, but the 47-year-old coach was
effectively fired after he lost the faith of the country's football fans
and then his employers.
Mosimane, who was assistant to Brazilian
Carlos Alberto Parreira when South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010,
made a promising start to his tenure but never recovered from the
embarrassment of not knowing the rules in African Cup qualifying last
year. He watched his team celebrate a 0-0 draw at home against Sierra
Leone when it actually needed to win to qualify for the tournament in
Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Since then, the team has drawn six
out of seven games and lost to Zimbabwe to see the momentum and optimism
built by a promising performance at the 2010 World Cup on home soil
On Sunday, striker Katlego Mphela scored late to save
Bafana against lowly Ethiopia in front of just 5 000 fans at the
30 000-plus capacity Royal Bafokeng World Cup stadium.
Mosimane said South Africa needed to "accept the reality" that its
football had not progressed sufficiently despite having access to better
resources than most African countries.
SAFA evaluated the team's
results after the 1-1 draw against the Ethiopians and said Mosimane's
exit came when "both parties agreed to part ways amicably in the best
interests of both the country and the national team."
appointed Mosimane's assistant and former international defender Steve
Komphela as caretaker coach ahead of this weekend's World Cup qualifier
away in Botswana, with Bafana already trailing in its group. South
Africa also hosts next year's African Cup of Nations having failed to
qualify for the past two tournaments.
"We appeal to the nation to
also support the caretaker coach, the technical team, the players and
the whole team going forward," SAFA chief executive Robin Petersen said.
"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 (African Cup of
South African-based Premier Soccer League
coach Gordon Igesund, who has won the national league title with four
different clubs, emerged as early favourite to become Mosimane's
permanent replacement, but Petersen told local media no decision had