Carlos Queiroz tops Chiefs list

OPTION B: Former  Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Queiroz
OPTION B: Former Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Queiroz

STEVE Komphela is not a shoo-in for the vacant Kaizer Chiefs coaching job - Carlos Queiroz has suddenly emerged as another possible candidate.

The former Bafana Bafana coach emerged as a surprise contender for the job yesterday.

Chiefs will draw up a shortlist of likely replacements for Vladimir Vermezovic, who was given the boot yesterday.

The Serb's contract was terminated with immediate effect after an emergency meeting at the club.

Ace Khuse, his assistant for the past three seasons, will take over for the rest of the season. Khuse will be backed up by former Chiefs players Doctor Khumalo and Arthur Zwane.

Amakhosi football manager Bobby Motaung said yesterday that the club was in no hurry to name a new coach, but expressed interest in Queiroz, who has a contract with the Iran national team.

The former Bafana, Portugal and Real Madrid coach has a glittering CV, but he was at his best as an assistant to Manchester United's Alex Ferguson in his two stints (2002-03 and 2004-08) at Old Trafford.

Motaung said if Queiroz, who was fired as Bafana coach on the eve of the 2002 World Cup finals, was keen to return to South Africa for a club side, Amakhosi would not hesitate to put him on the shortlist.

"He's a gentleman of good standing. And he is experienced. If he is in the country and looking to stay, we would definitely have a word with him," Motaung said.

Jeff Butler, who was at the helm of Chiefs in 1996, is the only man to have already submitted a CV, but is unlikely to get the job.

Motaung did not rule out a local coach even though the club have preferred Europeans in the past decade.

Komphela's recent appointment as Bafana assistant, while still in charge of Free State Stars, could rule him out of contention for Chiefs.

"The chairman (Kaizer Motaung) has never said a local coach will never take over at Chiefs, he only meant one was not available at the time (before hiring Vermezovic)," explained Motaung.

Meanwhile, the football manager also revealed that Khuse and his new technical team were still expected to win the Absa Premiership this season.

"That objective was not only set for an individual, although Vermezovic was in charge, but the whole team was expected to win the league. And that doesn't change."

He said the reason for letting Vermezovic go before the end of the season, with seven league games still to be played, was to avoid unsettling him while management was interviewing possible candidates.

"We didn't want him to be there while we are looking at possible replacements because he would not be focused.

"We also told him that what happens during the remaining games would not have any bearing to his contract as we were not going to renew it," said Motaung.