Parreira future to be decided on Monday

April 19, 2008

JOHANNESBURG, April 19 (Reuters) - Carlos Alberto Parreira's uncertain future as South Africa coach will be made clear on Monday, the country's soccer federation said.

'We will make a statement after an executive committee meeting,' the federation's CEO Raymond Hack said on Saturday.

The announcement follows Parreira meeting with officials in Johannesburg on Friday in the wake of reports he planned to resign to return to Brazil, where his wife is ill.

Leila Parreira told Brazil's Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper this week her husband would return home to Rio de Janeiro early in May.

Officials remained tight-lipped on Saturday after the meeting but promised an official statement after the weekend.

Parreira, who won the World Cup as Brazil coach in 1994, was hired last year as hosts South Africa sought to build a competitive team for the 2010 World Cup finals.

His departure would be a major setback as the country continues to worry about the quality of its national team.

The CEO of the local organising committee for the tournament, Danny Jordaan, has spoke of the importance of a good run by the host country, as was the case in Germany in 2006.

Parreira, the 14th coach in 15 years for South Africa, was seen as the potential architect of such a team.

Although South Africa were eliminated at the group stage of the recent African Nations Cup finals in Ghana, he has received extensive plaudits in recent weeks for the side's progress.

The Brazilian, who has been criticised because of his high salary, insisted he was still in an experimental phase of preparation, had used 61 players in 21 matches. He won nine matches, drew six and lost six.