Johannesburg (AFP) – Belgian Hugo Broos, who guided Cameroon to a shock Africa Cup of Nations title 11 days ago, has applied for the vacant post of South Africa coach.
His name was among those released Thursday by the South African Football Association (SAFA) for one of the most sought after football jobs in Africa.
Italian Roberto Mancini, manager of Manchester City when they won the English Premier League five seasons ago, is another candidate.
Hassan Shehata, coach of Egypt when they won an unrivalled three consecutive Cup of Nations titles between 2006 and 2010, has also applied.
The vacancy occurred when Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba was fired two months ago after insulting several SAFA officials, including president Danny Jordaan.
A source close to Broos told AFP that the 64-year-old wanted a new challenge, even though Cameroon are in the running for a 2018 World Cup place.
The Indomitable Lions trail Nigeria by four points in a group from which only the winners qualify and face the leaders home and away this August and September.
By winning the Cup of Nations, Cameroon secured a place in the FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia this June.
“Hugo defied the odds to win the Cup of Nations with what was considered a weak Cameroon team,” the source said.
“He knows the South African team well as they drew twice with Cameroon in qualifiers for the 2017 Cup of Nations.”
When Broos took charge of Cameroon last year, he dumped many older players in favour of young, virtual unknown footballers based in Europe.
Before the Cup of Nations, eight of the preliminary squad withdrew, including Liverpool defender Joel Matip, saying they preferred to concentrate on their club careers.
Cameroon began the Cup of Nations in Gabon last month unimpressively, drawing two of three group games and were saved by the woodwork from a first-round exit.
But after edging title favourites Senegal on penalties in the quarter-finals, they defeated Ghana and Egypt to win a first Cup of Nations title in 15 years.