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By ESPN Staff

South African national coach Parreira resigns

JOHANNESBURG, April 21 (Reuters) - Brazil's Carlos Alberto Parreira has resigned as coach of South Africa, the South African Football Association (SAFA) said on Monday.

Parreira told a news conference that he and SAFA had come to an amicable decision that he will relinquish the post of head coach from May 2.

'It was a very difficult decision to make but I need to dedicate more time to my family. I will remain available to ensure a smooth transition until the new coach is available and I am also available for consultation as a technical advisor,' Parreira said.

'I regret very much that it has come to this but my family needs me, especially my wife. Every human being needs to find balance between their personal and professional lives'.

Johannesburg's Sunday Times reported on Sunday that his wife Leila was suffering from cancer. Parreira, who won the World Cup with Brazil in 1994, had been tasked with preparing South Africa for the 2010 World Cup, which the country is hosting.

Anxious to put together a competitive team for the tournament, South Africa had engaged Parreira in a blaze of publicity in mid-2006.

He only formally took up the job at the start of 2007, becoming the country's 14th coach in 15 years.

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