Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba is living on borrowed time.
Mashaba’s fate will be decided this week when the technical committee meets on Saturday to map the way forward.
After yet another disappointing outing by the senior national team, the hierarchy of South African football is upset, as is the public.
Heads could roll if SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan’s comments after Friday’s draw against lowly ranked Mauritania are anything to go by.
“This was a disappointing performance. We have to say that straight. This must be the end of the journey and not the beginning because this cannot lead us to the 2018 campaign. We can’t take on Africa’s best for the World Cup playing like this,” said Jordaan in a post-match interview.
Bafana are taking on Egypt in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on Tuesday and this might signal the end of Mashaba’s tenure.
Safa CEO Dennis Mumble yesterday confirmed that the association needed to deal with Mashaba’s situation as a matter of urgency.
Mumble said Mashaba was given two mandates – to qualify for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“We will engage with the technical team on Monday [tomorrow] and prepare a report for the technical committee, which will dissect where we are and also map the way forward. He [Mashaba] has already failed on the first mandate and we need to sit down and make a decision,” said an unhappy Mumble.
Although he said he did not want to pre-empt the outcome of Saturday’s meeting, he said they needed to act urgently.
“We understand the frustrations of the public as they want us to take action, but we are also not happy. We always said we would evaluate the team’s performance at the end of the qualifiers so as to assess what we need to do going forward. But now there is a greater urgency to address the deficiency that is there before the World Cup qualifiers. We would like to get guarantees for 2018 because we must qualify.”
Mumble said a task team that was formed to assess Bafana would meet on Friday, and its report would be discussed at Saturday’s meeting.
Bafana begin their 2018 World Cup qualifiers next month with a trip to Burkina Faso. The big question is: will getting rid of Mashaba now be a good move?
Bafana were not convincing in the recent Afcon qualifiers – they finished third in the group behind winners Cameroon and second-placed Mauritania. They won only one game against Gambia, lost once and drew four times.
They will have to improve drastically if they are to beat the likes of Burkina Faso, Senegal and Cape Verde.
After Friday’s 1-1 draw with Mauritania, Mashaba remained confident that they would qualify for Russia.
But is he the man to take South Africa to Russia?