/ 8 October 2009

We’re not after Santana’s job, says Hunt

Gavin Hunt, one of the three coaches mandated to assess Bafana Bafana’s performances in their two friendly matches against Norway in Olso on Saturday and Iceland in Reykjavik next Tuesday stressed that national head coach Joel Santana’s job was not on the line from the trio.

Hunt, who has won back-to-back Absa Premiership titles with SuperSport United, former Bafana head coaches Clive Barker who won the 1996 African Nations Cup and Jomo Sono who was in charge of Bafana at the 1998 Nations Cup and the 2002 World Cup finals, met with South African Football Association (Safa) CEO Raymond Hack on Thursday to get their brief about what Safa expected of them.

Said Hunt: ”One thing is clear that we do not have the mandate to fire the coach. As a coach I would never be involved in getting another coach the sack. This three man committee of assessors is not about Santana or the players.

”We will not be talking to Santana or any players. We have been asked and accepted the role of assessing the Bafana team’s performances to see where we think they have gone wrong or what they are doing right on the field and report back to Safa. It will be up to Safa to decide on what to do with our reports.”

New Safa president Kirstin Nematandani who was elected unopposed less than two weeks ago, has publicly stated that the new Safa executive committee are unhappy with Bafana’s form.

Bafana have lost six of their last seven friendly matches. Their only win was a lucky 1-0 victory in Kimberly over 131st ranked Madagascar last month.

The move by Safa to appoint the three coaches assessors on Tuesday was widely interpreted as a move to oust the unpopular and stubborn Brazilian who, according to reports, does not like to take advice or help.

But with the World Cup on home soil just around the corner, Safa have acted and Santana knows he is under pressure to get results and end Bafana’s slump.

Hunt said that as they only officially accepted to help Safa on Thursday it was too late to travel to Norway or Iceland. Safa went public on Tuesday by naming the trio as assessors before discussing the issue with them.

Said Hunt: ”Ideally we should have watched the matches live. But as we only met with Hack today [Thursday] it was too late to get visas to travel to Norway and Iceland so we will watch the game on television and report from there.” — Sapa