Two-horse race for Bafana job
Gordon Igesund (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - The vacant Bafana Bafana coaching post was on Monday made to a two-horse race between Gordon Igesund and Steve Komphela.
Both men, who are noted to be good man-managers, will make another presentation to the SA Football Association (SAFA) national executive committee on June 30.
They will also be working alongside assistant coach Jairo Leal, who will remain in his position despite reports of the Brazilian facing the axe.
Komphela was the fifth and final candidate to be interviewed by SAFA's technical committee earlier on Monday.
"At the end of the interview process, the scores for each candidate were finalised and the top candidates have now been identified," the association said in a statement on Monday evening.
"These two candidates have been invited by the committee to make a further presentation to the national executive committee of SAFA, which is constitutionally mandated to appoint the senior men’s national team coach. These presentations will take place on the 30th June.
"Following which the NEC will receive the report and recommendation of the technical committee, and will then finalise the appointment of the coach from these two candidates."
The other four candidates - Igesund, Shakes Mashaba, Gavin Hunt and Neil Tovey - met the technical committee last week. They, however, had not known their fate on the day, and had been expecting to be informed later in the week.
Komphela, who coaches Free State Stars in the Premier Soccer League, has been Bafana's interim coach since the sacking of Pitso Mosimane three weeks ago.
He is the team's second assistant coach, a position he assumed in April. Part of the agreement was that he will continue his work with Stars.
In his two matches in charge, Bafana drew 1-1 with Botswana in Gaborone last week, and beat Gabon 3-0 in Nelspruit on Friday.
"It [the interview] went well, but now I need my rest," Komphela said after completing his presentation at SAFA House.
"I have not slept since Friday, and spent the whole of yesterday [Sunday] preparing for this meeting."
The four-time league winning Igesund is a public favourite and coached modest Moroka Swallows to second on the log in the past Premiership season.
The association's technical committee chair Fanyana Sibanyoni also denied media reports that Leal would be axed from the national team on Monday. His contract expires at the conclusion of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Mosimane is still seeking compensation from SAFA for his dismissal with two years remaining his contract.
"I was misquoted," Sibanyoni told Sapa.
"Leal is the Bafana assistant coach... he is still our coach."
Leal has been with Bafana since 2007 where he came in with fellow countryman, Carlos Parreira.