Africa Cup of Nations-winning captain Neil Tovey will not have his contract as technical director of South Africa renewed next month amid conflicting reports about the decision.
South African Football Association (Safa) spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said health was the chief reason behind letting the skipper of the 1996 Cup of Nations team go.
“The main reason why the contract of Neil will not be renewed is health related. He had two huge scares (heart attacks) during his tenure and that was taken into account.” The former Kaizer Chiefs and South Africa centre-back suffered several heart attacks in early 2015 and another late the following year.
However, the business Day newspaper reported that a lack of financial support from the cash-strapped Safa restricted Tovey in his work.
“Health is not the major issue — money is. Neil felt hamstrung because he lacked sufficient funds to carry out his mandate,” a top Safa official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Now 57, Tovey did not immediately comment on the decision by the national association to dump him.
As technical director, Tovey was tasked with training coaches in the republic, whose national team has been a continuous source of disappointment for a decade.
Bafana Bafana (The Boys) are ranked only 13th in Africa — behind many countries with far smaller populations and limited facilities.
South Africa boasts more international-standard pitches in commercial capital Johannesburg alone than most African countries have.
When the national team returned from apartheid-induced international isolation in 1992, they quickly made an impact.—AFP