No plan to bring back Parreira, says Nematandani

There are no immediate plans for former Bafana Bafana head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira to replace fellow Brazilian Joel Santana, SA Football Association (Safa) president Kirstin Nematandani said on Tuesday.

Instead Safa has given Santana three more matches to sort out his problems with the national squad.

Nematandani denied reports that Safa had spoken to, or had immediate plans to replace Santana with Parreira after Tuesday’s friendly international against Iceland in Reykjavik.

Santana took over from Parreira last June after the former World Cup winner quit as Bafana head coach, citing his wife’s illness. It was Parreira who recommended Santana to Safa.

Nematandani told Sapa, “I have never spoken to Parreira about returning to coach Bafana. Why should I? We employed a three-man technical committee to assess Bafana and how could we talk to Parreira before that three-man committee had even started their work?”

Nematandani and his new Safa national executive committee last week appointed SuperSport United coach Gavin Hunt and two former Bafana head coaches, Clive Barker and Jomo Sono, to assess Bafana over the next three friendly internationals.

“The three assessors only begin their task when they watch the game against Iceland on Tuesday night.

“We decided that it would not be fair to only assess Bafana on one game and it would be fair and objective if they continue their assignment when we play Japan and Jamaica at home next month and then report back to the Safa executive committee,” said Nematandani.

“We believe that the assessment team would have a proper perspective on Bafana after assessing those three matches.”

Bafana play Japan at the Orlando Stadium on November 14 and Jamaica in Bloemfontein on November 17.

Nematandani said the three-man technical committee was only formed the day before Bafana played and lost 1-0 to Norway in Oslo on Saturday, so the assessors were unable to begin their job then.

The Safa president said it would be defeating the purpose of engaging assessors to bring in Parreira before they had time to complete their task.

“We need to be objective and fair. After all Santana has a contract with us [until after the 2010 World Cup].

“We simply cannot fire him without looking into the team’s performances.

“That is why we employed the three assessors to be our eyes. We will have a good idea on how to move forward after they complete their task after the Jamaica match,” he said.

The new Safa executive committee is said to be fed up with Santana’s poor run of results.

Forming the assessors committee was widely seen as the first step in getting rid of Santana.

Bafana have lost seven of their last eight matches. The only win was last month’s 1-0 success in Kimberley over Madagascar, ranked 131st in the world.

Nematandani said while Safa had demanded of Santana that Bafana should start producing results, “Santana has been brave by opting to play top countries like Germany, Ireland [away] and Japan who are all set to play in the World Cup.”

“He could easily have asked to play countries like Malawi who have no hope of playing at the World Cup and beat them.

“He said that would achieve nothing and I agree. So Safa are going to allow the assessors time to do their work.”—Sapa

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