Cape Town - Football legend Lucas Radebe says he doesn't blame Pitso Mosimane, Gavin Hunt and Benni McCarthy for distancing themselves from the vacant Bafana Bafana head coach role.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) are still on the lookout for a new mentor following Stuart Baxter’s shock resignation late last month.
Molefi Ntseki has since been entrusted with keeping tabs on the national team as caretaker and already named his first 23-man squad for next month’s friendly against Zambia.
Meanwhile, widespread reports have linked top local coaches Mosimane, Hunt and McCarthy with the job, but all the three mentors have publicly denied wanting to leave their respective clubs.
Mosimane, who has been at Mamelodi Sundowns for seven seasons, said he is "happy" at the Tshwane club and does not see himself cutting short his contract.
Wits coach Hunt said he is simply "too young" to be the Bafana coach - at age 55 - while also calling for SAFA to scrap the interview process on finding a suitable candidate.
McCarthy said although he is flattered by the rumours linking him to the job, he is "150 million percent focused" on his job at Cape Town City.
In an exclusive interview with Sport24, Radebe believes the Bafana Bafana job is a poison chalice that would be detrimental to Mosimane, Hunt and McCarthy’s management careers if they were to accept an offer from SAFA.
"To be honest, I don’t blame them. I think for me, you set yourself up for failure and people have reputations to keep and worked hard for where they are,” Radebe said at the Cadbury Premier League Trophy tour of South Africa.
"It’s more important to stay in a job where you got the support of the management and players. Where you get to work with them week in and week out which I think creates a great bond.
"The success of the coaches is the most important thing at SAFA. If the structure is right, we’ll see the success. We’ve got the talent but why are we not successful?"
Radebe, 50, says that change needs to happen within the SAFA structures for South African football to be successful on the world stage.
"For me, we’ve changed the coaches, we’ve changed the players ... there’s only one place there needs to be changed and that is upstairs," the former Leeds United captain said as he pointed to the sky.
"We’ve always spoken about developing our own coaches, which we have. The sad part is not giving the resources that they need in terms of support ... It has to start upstairs, where they support us, (coaches) where they are given the right resources that will get you what we’ve been dreaming of which is participation, not only on the African continent but on the world stage."