Queiroz challenge for Bafana

Carlos Queiroz

Salary demands could be a stumbling block to former Real Madrid manager Carlos Queiroz rejoining South Africa for a second spell as national coach.

The Portuguese reportedly wants about four times the $50 000-a-month (37 000 euros) earned by Gordon Igesund, who was dumped after an unsuccessful two-year reign.

Otherwise, the 61-year-old may pen a new deal with Iran, who he guided at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

 Iran proved stubborn opponents under Queiroz, holding Nigeria and keeping eventual runners-up Argentina scoreless until Lionel Messi struck in stoppage time.

 Tehran reports say the two-time assistant to former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has been offered a $2.5-million-a-year deal to carry on.

South Africa are scheduled to name a new coach Saturday after a meeting of national football association bosses in Soweto.

 President Danny Jordaan reportedly favours Queiroz, but has vowed not to become entangled in a bidding war.

 ”If Queiroz is unavailable, there are other candidates,” he told reporters. “We will not become involved in a bidding war.”

 The Portuguese coached South Africa for two years from 2000 only to be fired after qualifying Bafana Bafana (The Boys) for the 2002 World Cup.

 A quarterfinals exit from the Africa Cup of Nations a few months prior to the global showpiece gave Queiroz opponents the ammunition to have him sacked.

Nigeria 2014 World Cup coach Stephen Keshi and South Africa youth coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba are considered the other main candidates.

Keshi last month became the first African coach to reach the second round of the World Cup, but Nigeria did not offer the former ‘Super Eagles’ skipper a new contract.

He reportedly earned $30 000 a month so the United States-based 52-year-old would present no salary problems for South Africa.

Nor would 63-year-old former Bafana handler Mashaba, who is in Mali this weekend as part of a West Africa tour with the South Africa youth squad.

Like Queiroz, Mashaba was fired after qualifying for a major tournament, the 2004 Cup of Nations.

 South African football supporters and media endlessly debate the merits of hiring a local or foreign coach whenever a vacancy occurs.

And there have been plenty with South Africa hiring 17 coaches – 10 local and seven foreign – since readmission to international football in 1992 after decades of apartheid-induced isolation.

Local Clive Barker was the longest serving and most successful, taking over in 1994 and guiding Bafana Bafana to the 1996 Cup of Nations title in Soweto.

He also qualified the team for the 1998 World Cup, but never got to France having been axed in the aftermath of a disastrous Confederations Cup campaign.

Ivory Coast are another high-profile African football nation seeking a new coach since former France midfielder Sabri Lamouchi quit following a first-round World Cup exit.

 The Ivorians have shortlisted French coaches Frederic Antonetti, Luis Fernandez, Francis Gillot and Herve Renard and Portuguese Manuel Jose.

Renard took outsiders Zambia to the 2012 Cup of Nations title and Jose won a record eight CAF titles with Egyptian club Al Ahly.

Nigeria is the other major coach-less country amid reports that Keshi may be offered a new deal.

AFP