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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 January, 2004, 19:08 GMT
Mashaba faces the sack
By Mark Gleeson
BBC Sport, Cape Town

Mashaba's position is under threat
South African coach Ephraim 'Shakes' Mashaba is likely to be fired this week after a heated meeting with football chiefs on Tuesday brought the current crisis in the national team to a head.

Mashaba has been roundly criticised for his approach, especially after requests from striker Benni McCarthy and defender Mark Fish, to be allowed join Bafana Bafana's Nations Cup camp later than planned were turned down.

The controversial coach rejected appeals from both players to be excused from a two-week pre-tournament training camp.

Mashaba insisted that all players called up for duty report on 10 January as stipulated in Fifa regulations.

BBC Sport understands that Safa's first choice is Ajax Cape Town coach Gordon Igesund.

His fractured relationships with other key foreign-based players was also raised at a stormy meeting in Johannesburg where Mashaba was carpeted by the executive committee of the South African Football Association (Safa).

Safa officials told him to recall the likes of Manchester United's Quinton Fortune and the giant Dutch-based goalkeeper Hans Vonk or face the sack.

BBC Sport understands that Mashaba has until Wednesday morning to respond.

One source said: "The curtain is coming down. Moves are already underway to find a replacement."

While speculation is mounting that Jomo Sono will make another return, BBC Sport understands that Safa's first choice is Ajax Cape Town coach Gordon Igesund.

Mashaba was replaced by Sono for the friendly against England in May last year after he had ignored the majority of South Africa's foreign contingent.

Furious Safa officials sidelined him and Sono promptly recalled the likes of McCarthy, Shaun Bartlett and Lucas Radebe for the game in Durban.

Bartlett and Radebe have since retired from international football.


SEE ALSO
SA name Nations Cup squad
11 Dec 03  |  African
Fish out of SA squad
24 Dec 03  |  African
Jordaan stands firm
28 Dec 03  |  African



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