BAFANA Bafana coach Gordon Igesund blew his top yesterday when it was put to him his employers expected him to win the African Nations Championship early next year. SA Football Association (Safa) vice-president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana told a TV sports programme at the weekend Igesund was tasked with winning the championship – a non-Fifa tournament for locally based players – which will be held in South Africa from January 11 to February 1.
Bafana, having qualified as hosts, are in Group A and will face Mali, Nigeria and Mozambique.
Teams participating will have to make do without their overseas-based players.
Despite Safa president Danny Jordaan contradicting his deputy by saying mandates for all national team coaches were yet to be discussed, Igesund hit out at Nonkonyana for suggesting the coach "should do the honourable thing” if Bafana do not win the competition.
"It’s absolute nonsense,” Igesund said, minutes after returning from Agadir, where Bafana held Morocco to a 1-1 draw on Friday night in an international friendly.
"I don’t know where he gets that. I’ve got no mandates at this moment. I have a contract with Safa until [July] 2014.
"I had two mandates when I took on the job – to reach the semifinals of the Africa Cup of Nations and to get the team to the World Cup in Brazil. But I did not achieve those, and Safa seem to enjoy the work I do because I still have a contract until next year. I am not prepared to discuss any mandates.”
Igesund would not commit to a target for the championship yesterday. He said he was still waiting for confirmation on which premier league players would be available.
The PSL has not completely made room for the tournament, having scheduled matches during the championship knockout stages.
"We are in a tough group, but after our game against Morocco, I now have a clearer idea of where we are going moving forward.
"But it would be premature for me to put a mandate for the tournament. A lot could still change because I still have to sit down with [Safa chief executive] Dennis Mumble to discuss which players are available. I want the best players to take part because this is a serious tournament.”
Igesund confirmed Bafana would use the Fifa dates next month to schedule friendly matches against African opposition to prepare for the championship. "But it is difficult to get opponents because most of them have qualified for this tournament,” he said.
Meanwhile, Jordaan has appointed a technical committee tasked with perusing reports submitted by all national team coaches on their successes and failures.
The committee is made up of former Bafana skipper Lucas Radebe, Farouk Khan, Greg Mashilo and chairwoman Natasha Tsichlas.