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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 17:47 GMT 18:47 UK
'Black Prince' in profile
South African international, Mark Fish
Sono believes Mark Fish (middle) should be in the team

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Jomo Sono is one of the finest players that South African football has ever produced.

Known as 'Black Prince of South African Soccer', Sono was a popular player at Orlando Pirates and subsequently plied his trade in the old North American Soccer League.

Once sought by Portuguese club, Sporting Lisbon, Sono was a team mate of Pele at New York Cosmos.

A consummate self-publicist, Sono was an icon for the oppressed black population in South Africa.

When he returned to the country in 1982, Sono bought the franchise of the country's most popular white club, Highlands Park.

He renamed the team Jomo Cosmos, after himself and his former American club, and has served as a player and coach of his own side ever since.

Sono retired from active football in 1988, after Cosmos had won their only league title a year earlier.
Former South African manager, Carlos Queiroz.
Queiroz was unhappy with Sono's appointment

Sono was compelled to manage his own club in 1994, when they were relegated to the second division.

Under his tutelage, Cosmos made a swift return to the premier league. But he has never won a trophy as a coach.

Staying power

In last November's League Cup final in Johannesburg, his club handed an embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Kaizer Chiefs.

Sono is currently the longest serving coach in the premier league and sits on the Premier Soccer League board.

He had a reputation for uncovering young stars and turning them into international players. But his club lacked the financial wherewithal to hold onto them and build a side that could rival Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates.

Instead, Sono has sold more than 20 South African footballers to European clubs over the last five years.

His most recent sale involves his own son, Bamuza, who flew for trials at St Gallen in Switzerland last week.

Sono has been a vocal critic of the South African officials, who have tried to keep him quiet by appointing him to positions within the South African FA.

In 1998, Sono was appointed as caretaker coach of Bafana Bafana, following the resignation of Clive Barker.

His first match in charge saw the country embarrassed in a 3-2 defeat by lowly Namibia in the Cosafa Castle Cup.

But Sono and his players restored national pride, by reaching the finals of the Nations Cup in Burkina Faso.

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GROUP B
  P GD PTS
SPAIN 3 +5 9
PARAGUAY 3 0 4
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 4
SLOVENIA 3 -5 0

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