SOUTH Africa's top football officials have appealed for a positive public reaction to the reappointment of Carlos Alberto Parreira as coach following a weekend of criticism.
Safa said it was aware of widespread feeling that a local trainer should have been given the job of leading the side to the World Cup finals on home soil.
"We are pleading with the public to accept Parreira and let him prepare our team for the World Cup," Safa vice president Mwelo Nonkonyana said on Monday. "We are aware of what some leading football personalities and what the public are saying but we believe Parreira is the best choice to lead the team."
The 66-year-old Brazilian, who took his country to the World Cup in 1994, was South Africa's coach from 2007 until April last year but quit when his wife became ill.
Parreira agreed on Friday to return but several columnists and former local national coaches hit out at the choice.
The appointment also sparked abuse from radio callers who said the experiment with Brazilian coaches had failed and that the team would be better off with a South African at the helm. - Reuters