Cape Town - Newly-appointed Bafana Bafana head coach Shakes Mashaba will not be sacked if the national team does not qualify for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), the SA Football Association (SAFA) says.
“We will not say to Shakes that he must qualify for Morocco 2015,” SAFA president Danny Jordaan said on Friday.
“That is not his mandate. The mandate is to build a sustainable Bafana Bafana team for the next few years.”
Mashaba was named as the man in charge of the senior national team on July 26, but was on duty with the national Under-20’s in West Africa at the time.
The 63-year-old replaces outgoing boss Gordon Igesund, whose contract expires at the end of August and was not renewed.
Igesund was handed a stern mandate when he was hired in 2012, which included ensuring Bafana Bafana qualified for the 2014 Soccer World Cup, while reaching the semi-finals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mashaba, however, was firmer in his aspirations.
“I want us to kill it now, I don’t want it to come later. My mandate is automatic. There is nowhere as a coach where you take a team and want to lose,” Mashaba said.
“I’ve got a CV to enhance… I heard the president saying that there is no pressure. But I know the pressure is there of winning.”
Bafana Bafana have been drawn with African giants Nigeria, Sudan and Rwanda in their qualifying group.
The top two teams in each of the seven groups, along with the best-placed third-place finisher and hosts Morocco will qualifying for the tournament.
Bafana open their qualifying against Sudan in Khartoum on Friday, September 5, before hosting Nigeria on Wednesday, September 10 at the Cape Town Stadium.