By Fleur Rollason
Joel Santana has been named as the new Bafana Bafana coach. This comes after Carlos Alberto Parreira, also Brazillian, resigned from the position. Parreira allegedly resigned almost three weeks ago, but the South African Football Association (SAFA) kept the news under wraps until last week.
SAFA had hoped to delay the news of Parreira’s departure for another couple of weeks, as well as the news of Santana’s appointment as the new coach. Parreira cited his wife’s illness as the reason for leaving the coaching position. It is still unclear whether this is the real reason for his resignation or not.
Santana is currently the coach of Brazilian club Flamengo and comes to South Africa by recommendation of his predecessor. He managed a number of clubs from 1981 but has never worked with a national team. Supporters hope, however, he will be able to help Bafana Bafana qualify for the second round of the Soccer World Cup.
Santana is to receive the same remuneration as Parreira, meaning he will be paid approximately R1.8 million a month, and will take over the post once his current team has finished their season after 4 May 2008.