South Africa's Orlando Pirates sacks French coach

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) -- Orlando Pirates, one of South Africa's biggest football clubs, fired French coach Jean-Yves Kerjean at the weekend and replaced him with a Zimbabwean, Roy Barreto.
Media speculation had been high in recent weeks that the Frenchman was on his way out after Pirates got booted out of the Vodacom challenge with an unconvincing performance.
Matters got worse for Kerjean, who was in his second season with Pirates, when his side lost in the semi-final of the Telkom Charity Cup.
When Kerjean took over from three-time league winning Coach Gordon Igesund, he promised Pirates would defend their league title, but they didn't.
The Frenchman had replaced ageing Pirates players with fresh young talent, but the youngsters failed to live up to the expectations of the club supporters.
Star players like Zambian Denis Lota and Thabo Mngomeni were put on the backburner, but still the fans were not impressed.
It was then just a matter of time before the "Iron Duke" as Pirates club chairman Irvin Khoza is known, intervened.
If the Pirates boss wasn't so busy, Kerjean probably would have been fired a lot earlier.
In the last few weeks Khoza has had his hands full.
He had to finalise the buy-out of two clubs from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and then defend himself in court where he appeared on tax evasion charges involving about R10 million.
The football tycoon reportedly paid R3 million to get a reprieve from the taxman.
Khoza told reporters that Pirates and Kerjean parted ways "amicably", but he would not give details.
"Both parties agreed not to divulge the intricate details.
" Asked to comment on his sacking the temperamental Frenchman, who once punched his defender Luc Zoa when Pirates played and lost to TP Mazembe from the DR Congo, Kerjean replied: "We are going to have dinner with the players to say goodbye.
We are still friends.
" Khoza said Barreto, the Zimbabwean chain-smoking coach who was in charge of the now defunct Free State Stars, would immediately replace Kerjean.
Bareto previously coached top Zimbabwean side, Highlanders.
Khoza said Pirates had signed a three-year contract with their new coach, who has brought along top players from Stars, which recently accepted R8 million from the PSL to go out of business.
Ria Stars was the other team, which accepted the deal that reduced the number of teams in the league to only 16.
Prolific striker Jimmy Kauleza who has been on trials in Russia, goalkeeper Michael Babale, Lucky Lekgwathi and Goodman Mzibuko -- all former Stars' players -- have now joined Pirates.

05 august 2002 08:15:00

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