Dennis Mumble confirms deal with new Bafana Bafana coach is not yet finalised

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The national team coaching merry-go-round continues with the latest update coming from Mumble signaling that minimal progress has been made on securing a replacement for axed-coach Shakes Mashaba.

Bafana have been without a permanent head coach since November 13, when Mashaba was suspended over a tirade aimed at his superiors following a 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Senegal in Polokwane, which has since come under scrutiny from FIFA. He was then sacked five weeks later.

National Under-23 boss and Bafana assistant coach Owen da Gama has held the position on an interim basis, as the association continues its lengthy search for a suitable candidate despite assembling a task team to head hunt a new coach.

SAFA last month (February 11) spelt out the criteria which was to be used in identifying the new man for the hotseat, also announcing a deadline of Febaruary 28. However, that deadline and several others have since been missed, with a new one now set for this week.

Speaking to the media upon the team's arrival from East London on Wednesday morning at OR Tambo International Airport, Mumble reiterated that the search would continue but names cannot be revealed for fear of media interference.

However, candidates for the job are reported to include Herve Renard, Hugo Broos, Carlos Queiroz, Stuart Baxter and Ruud Krol, with one of those since being ruled out of the running.

"You know that there were five on the list, and we've been working from those five – that's really what he have," he said.

"Out of those five, one has already fallen off the list so it's a matter of trying to finalise with the others to see who we can strike the best deal with.

"I don't want to give names, I don't want to compromise people because then you guys [media] will go and hound them."

Meanwhile, Mashaba's ongoing case with the CCMA, in which he has asked to be reinstated as coach, is set to resume next week, but Mumble is confident that their decision to fire him will be upheld.

"[Shakes's hearing] continues next week, yes. And we're still confident we're going to win that one," he added.

Having just come off the back of a 3-1 win over Guinea-Bissau and a 0-0 draw with Angola in back-to-back international friendlies, Bafana's next assignment will be the African Nations Championships (CHAN) qualifiers in April. Bafana are unlikely to be at full strength as clubs are not obliged to release players because these matches do not fall within the FIFA calendar.

The next competitive fixture will be a 2019 AFCON qualifier away to Nigeria set for the weekend of 9-11 June, before a scheduled friendly against an unconfirmed opponent on June 13.

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