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Football: Mashaba appointed to coach South Africa

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba was named coach of South Africa Saturday in succession to sacked Gordon Igesund.

National youth coach Mashaba was not present at the announcement in Soweto as he is in Mali with the under-20 squad.

The 63-year-old former Orlando Pirates defender is a former caretaker coach and permanent coach of Bafana Bafana (The Boys).

He first took the reins in 1992 after the initial post-apartheid coach Stanley 'Screamer' Tshabalala was fired for hitting a journalist.

Mashaba was given permanent control in 2002 only to be fired after a row with officials despite plotting a win over Ivory Coast that qualified the team for the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations.

Mashaba was the unanimous choice of the national football association executive committee ahead of Portuguese Carlos Queiroz, who was favoured to take over the struggling national team.

Wage demands may have been a stumbling block with Queiroz, who has reportedly been offered $2.5 million (1.9 million euros) to continue coaching Iran.

Nigerian Stephen Keshi, whose contract was not renewed despite taking his country to the second round of the World Cup in Brazil, was another contender.

South Africa are ranked 14 in Africa and 66 in the world and poor tournament results cost Igesund his job.

Hosts South Africa were eliminated in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals after losing a penalty shootout against Mali.

They also failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup, surprisingly finishing second behind lowest seeds Ethiopia in a mini-league.

The first task for Mashaba will be to qualify for the 2015 Cup of Nations in Morocco by achieving a top-two finish in a group including Nigeria, Sudan and Congo Brazzaville or Rwanda.

Bafana Bafana have never beaten Nigeria in a competitive match and often struggled in the past against the combative Congolese.

South Africa face Sudan (away) and Nigeria (home) in September, Congo or Rwanda away and home in October and Sudan (home) and Nigeria (away) in November.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/140726/football-mashaba-appointed-coach-south-africa-0