Bafana Bafana fires head coach after 1-1 draw with Ethiopia
June 5, 2012
South African national team Bafana Bafana said goodbye to coach Pitso Mosimane on Tuesday, after a disappointing draw against Ethiopia. The 2014 World Cup qualifying game was the ninth in a row Bafana Bafana was unable to win, and much of the blame has been placed on the coach, according to The Associated Press.
The decision to fire Mosimane came after an emergency executive committee meeting was held following Bafana's loss to Ethiopia, which is ranked 71 places below the South African team. This match-up was set to be the easiest game of the team's six games in the tournament to advance to the World Cup, the AFP reports. However, Mosimane's recent failures to lead his team to victory have the executives worried he could destroy the team's chance to qualify for the World Cup. The news source indicates Mosimane's misinterpretation of tournament rules cost Bafana qualification to enter the 2012 Cup of Nations, and team officials are concerned there might be a repeat of history.
Bafana Bafana will go up against Botswana in the next qualifier on Saturday, June 9, and assistant coach Steve Komphela will take over head coaching duties for this game as well as an exhibition against Gabon next week. Komphela will not remain in charge of the team, and the AFP states the permanent replacement will most likely be Gordon Igesund.
The South African coach has led the Moroko Swallows to a second-place victory in the Premier Soccer League for the past two years. Now Igesund will likely step in to coach Bafana Bafana through the rest of the World Cup qualifiers, as the team hopes to get a spot in the next World Cup tournament.