The inside knowledge of Carlos Alberto Parreira regarding South Africa's national team set-up was key to his reappointment as head coach, the country's football chief Kirsten Nematandani has revealed. The Brazilian was unveiled on Friday as the new coach of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ hosts, 18 months after he quit the same role for personal reasons.
He has signed an eight-month deal until the end of next year's finals, replacing compatriot Joel Santana who resigned on Monday. Ironically, Parreira, whose first spell in charge ran from February 2007 to April 2008, had recommended his predecessor Santana, who left after a turbulent few months in which Bafana Bafana lost eight of their last nine games. The 1994 FIFA World Cup-winner is now tasked with halting that slide and rebuilding the faith of the nation before the global showpiece kicks off on 11 June next year.
"It was not easy for this executive committee to arrive at this decision," Nematandani, the South African Football Association (SAFA) president said after a near five-hour meeting. "I am pleased on behalf of the executive committee to announce to you that after that lengthy debate that we had, we want to announce that the country has a coach - and that coach is Mr. Parreira.
"It does not only stop there and we felt that it was very important because of the time that we have to ensure that he comes in as soon as possible and takes the process forward. There were a number of candidates, but we felt that if we had to go through the process, we may run up against time.
"You will understand that this is a person that had started this process," he said. "The players we are looking at now are his players. We felt that logically after we didn't have time, it was best to get somebody who will continue with the process that he has started."
We want to announce that the country has a coach - and that coach is Mr. Parreira.
Nematandani also played down fears that the 66-year-old would again leave the country in the lurch as he did initially when he called time to be with his sick wife. The SAFA boss continued: "One thing for sure is that he is going to be in the country and all those questions can be asked to him. But we did put it forward to him that it is important that he brings his family here.
"As we all are aware, there is a game against Japan on November 14. Surely, the two (assistant coaches Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane) that have taken the reins now should be doing their task and expect him to come into the country very soon.
"I must confirm that we have justice to the process and we hope everything will go according to plan," said Nematandani. "With so few days to go before the World Cup, surely you'll agree with us that there is a big task ahead of us.
"But we do believe it is a task that we should be able to overcome and ensure that, come 2010, we have a team that can compete against the best."
Parreira does not have the most impressive record with South Africa with his 21 games producing nine wins, six draws and six losses. Nematandani refused to be drawn too much into questions about the Brazilian's record, but gave the Rainbow Nation one guarantee for the future. He said: "The task of the coach is to take the team to 2010 and that's the end of it.
"I need to announce that we have taken a definitive decision that post-2010 it will be wise not to appoint anyone else, but a South African. It will be a principle stand that we have taken, meaning the next coach will be one of yours, a South African