Reuters Soccer Blog
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Carlos Alberto Parreira’s return as South Africa coach has been widely pilloried in the country’s media, a stark contrast to the almost universal approval he received when he took the job the first time round in late 2006.
Parreira has been enticed back in the wake of the firing of compatriot Joel Santana last week, as the World Cup hosts battle to drag their national side out of a spiral of long-term mediocrity.
Parreira was supposed to be the architect of a plan to build a competitive South African side to set the 2010 tournament alight.
But when his wife fell ill, he had little option to quit and return home to Rio de Janeiro.
Joel Santana arrived for what he thought was a routine review of his work with his South African Football Association bosses on Monday and within hours was packing his bags for a return to Brazil, ending his tenure as the 15th coach employed by South Africa in the last 17 years.
The run of poor results in recent internationals plus last year’s early elimination from the African Nations Cup qualifiers, had left Bafana Bafana in deep crisis, a team without any confidence or direction and running out of time before hosting the 2010 World Cup finals.
South Africa coach Joel Santana has been given two more games to show progress with his side or face being fired just six months before the country hosts the 2010 World Cup finals.
A growing clamour for the departure of the 60-year-old, who came into the job 18 months ago after Carlos Alberto Parreira was forced to quit because of his wife’s illness, has been given momentum by two lethargic performances in Norway and Iceland.
South Africa’s Brazilian coach Joel Santana has broken into English at news conferences on just a handful of occasions.
It’s mostly after rare wins for the national side when the local media are in good humour and Santana seeks to charm them with his piecemeal vocabulary. Few notes are taken amid the mirth.