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June 24, 2017

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South Africa faces Queiroz salary challenge

JOHANNESBURG -- Salary demands could be a stumbling block to former Real Madrid manager Carlos Queiroz rejoining South Africa for a second spell as national coach.

The Portuguese reportedly wants about four times the US$50,000-a-month (37,000 euros) earned by Gordon Igesund, who was dumped after an unsuccessful two-year reign.

Otherwise, the 61-year-old may pen a new deal with Iran, who he guided at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Iran proved stubborn opponents under Queiroz, holding Nigeria and keeping eventual runners-up Argentina scoreless until Lionel Messi struck in stoppage time.

Tehran reports say the two-time assistant to former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has been offered a US$2.5-million-a-year deal to carry on.

South Africa are scheduled to name a new coach Saturday after a meeting of national soccer association bosses in Soweto.

President Danny Jordaan reportedly favors Queiroz, but has vowed not to become entangled in a bidding war.

"If Queiroz is unavailable, there are other candidates," he told reporters. "We will not become involved in a bidding war."

The Portuguese coached South Africa for two years from 2000 only to be fired after qualifying Bafana Bafana (The Boys) for the 2002 World Cup.

A quarterfinals exit from the Africa Cup of Nations a few months prior to the global showpiece gave Queiroz opponents the ammunition to have him sacked.

Nigeria 2014 World Cup coach Stephen Keshi and South Africa youth coach Ephraim "Shakes" Mashaba are considered the other main candidates.

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