Baptism of fire for new coach
THERE is a nasty surprise awaiting the next Bafana Bafana coach - his first match in charge could be against Brazil.
South Africa are negotiating a prestige friendly against the five-time world champions to be played in September.
The match is likely to be played either in Brazil, the US or in Europe, but not in South Africa where the "Selecao" have been four times before.
The date of the match is either Friday September 7 or Tuesday September 11. A final contract is being negotiated with the South African Football Association this week, sources have disclosed, and the game could be officially announced before the end of the week.
Brazil, who have lost their last two friendlies which were hosted in the US this month, had originally proposed the game on September 11 but are now seeking to play four days earlier.
Safa have already cancelled plans for an August friendly, so the match against the Brazilians would be the first for the new coach - who is going to be Gordon Igesund or Steve Komphela.
The mother body had originally sought to organise a match against a neighbouring country on September 5 or 6 before heading off to Brazil. But with the change of dates, Brazil will come first and then there will be a home game on September 11 or 12 against African opposition.
Already confirmed for the rest of the year is an away match against Poland on October 12, and Safa are expected to name opponents for another game on October 16, this time on home soil.
On November 14, reigning African champions Zambia will be opponents for the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge, and from just after Christmas, when the team is expected to get together for the final preparations ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, there will be another three warm-up games.
It means the new coach will have eight warm-up games before the Afcon finals kick off at Soccer City in January.