The South African Football Association(SAFA) is racing against time to find the next Bafana Bafana coach who will be given a long-term contract. The football governing body resolved that the new person in charge of the senior national men’s team will not be sacked, should they fail to qualify for the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

Bafana Bafana were recently denied the chance to represent the country at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, which led to the firing of former mentor, Molefi Ntseki.

SAFA is expected to appoint their preferred candidate in the next few days.

The delay in appointing a new coach to take the reigns at Bafana Bafana, could be an indication that those tasked with finding Ntseki’s replacement, have had a tough couple of weeks. It is also a sign that the plush job is no longer as lucrative as before.

SAFA fires Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki

Not necessarily in monetary value, but whoever accepts the job could be at risk of denting his image and compromising his CV. It’s perhaps one of the challenges that SAFA has faced, but one the federation will deny.

A week ago, an appointment was imminent, but at the last hour, it was cancelled. SAFA CEO Tebogo Motlanthe was at pains to explain the circumstances that led to the sudden cancellation of the announcement of a new coach.

“Negotiations can be a bit tricky my brother – that what I can tell you.  You know when you negotiate and you say I have got my man and then something happens? Of course, someone changes their mind or something happens. you then have to look at other ways,” says Motlanthe.

Motlanthe says SAFA’s technical committee opted to rather have someone on a long term five-year contract that could go up to 2027.

Since the firing of Ntseki last month, the association is still in search of a suitable candidate that will be expected to start immediately upon his appointment.

The successful candidate will not be under immense pressure to produce immediate results,  but the person will have enough time to prepare and qualify for tournaments beyond Qatar.

“Technical committee has made it clear to the NEC that we get someone that will take over a long period and they said yes we want to qualify for the world cup but that should not mean that when we get someone and he does not qualify we will show him the door. Part of the negotiation is on the grounds that we must have a long term because we believe also that the coach that comes must have enough time to work with the national team,” says Motlanthe.

SAFA fires Bafana Bafana Coach Molefi Ntseki: Sipho Kekana

The CEO has been hard at work in search of the right man to guide Bafana Bafana to a brighter future. Motlanthe confirmed that he was given five names that had been shortlisted by the technical committee, to negotiate with and provide feedback.

Although he didn’t give names, he did confirm that four of the candidates were local coaches while the other one was a foreign coach.

Motlanthe poured cold water over suggestions that the current Saudi Arabia coach, Herve Renard, and the out-of- job Carlos Queiroz, who was recently fired as Columbia coach, were ever consulted.

“Safe to say the coach of Saudi Arabia was never contacted because he was not on the list. Carlos was never consulted because he was not on the list, those two I can confirm because there has been this thing on the media to create its own list,” adds Motlanthe.

With just one International coach on the list,  indications are pointing to a local coach for the top post.

“In terms of the principle and when you discuss with people we are in a very tricky situation in that the season is still on and you have games playing. So out of respect for people who are within their contract, we will not mention names.”

Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana’s first World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe, which was meant to be played in Harare, is likely to be moved to South Africa. This follows Zimbabwe’s failure to meet the required stadium compliance expected by the Confederation of Africa Football.