Johannesburg - Bidvest Wits on Friday terminated
head coach Antonio Lopez's contract by mutual consent, with Clive Barker
taking over until the end of the season, according to the club's
Wits' chief executive Jose Ferreira said the
decision to end the Spaniard's contract was due to personal reason's
given by Lopez.
“Antonio Lopez has requested that, due to
personal and private reasons, he be released from his contract, due to
expire at the end of the season," Ferreira's statement said.
“We have acceded to his request and we are in the process of finalising the necessary paperwork in this regard."
who previously coached Mamelodi Sundowns, as well as Celta Vigo and
Valencia in the Spanish La Liga, lasted only five months in charge of
the Clever Boys, after the club cut their ties with Roger de Sa, who is
now head coach of Soweto giants Orlando Pirates.
Barker, a former
coach of AmaZulu and Santos, guided South Africa to their only Africa
Cup of Nations (AFCON) title in 1996 and will be assisted by Andre
Arendse, who will fulfil these duties together with his existing duties
as goalkeeper coach.
"Clive Barker is one of the most experienced coaches in South African football," Ferreira added.
believe that in Clive we have a coach with the pedigree to come in at
this stage of the season and help the club deliver on its objectives for
Barker is set to start working with the team
starting on Monday, as the student side continue their preparations ahead
of the resumption of the Premiership season on February 12, following
the Africa Cup of Nations tournament hosted by South Africa.
They resume their league campaign when they face Black Leopards in Polokwane on February 13.
guided the team to four wins, seven draws and five losses during his
tenure, with his last match in charge, a 1-1 draw with Free State Stars
on December 19 in Johannesburg.
Wits are currently ninth in the Premiership standings, with 19 points from 16 games.