Baxter Steps Down As South Africa Coach After AFCON 2019 Q-final Feat




Stuart Baxter has resigned as Bafana Bafana of South Africa coach after his last assignment at the 32nd Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt where he failed to lead the team beyond the quarterfinals.

It was Baxter’s second stint as Bafana coach and he left the South African footballing public stunned Friday when he announced in a crowded press conference his decision to quit the South African coaching job.

The Englishman had been on the job for three years and his contract was to run out in 2022.

He called an urgent media conference on Friday and – flanked by South African Football Association, Safa Chief Executive, Russell Paul and announced his decision to step down.

“Someone should continue with this project, and therefore I’m resigning as Bafana Bafana coach,” Baxter said.

The 65-year-old added that the decision to call it quits was entirely his.

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“There is no monetary settlement. This had nothing to do about money. The figures quoted about my salary have been embarrassingly way off the mark”.

Baxter returned for a second stint as Bafana Bafana coach in May 2017, having been at the helm over a decade prior, and began his tenure on a positive note, leading the team to their first ever competitive victory over rivals, Nigeria – a 2-0 win in Uyo.

However, his fortunes were to quickly change as back-to-back defeats against unfancied Cape Verde, as well as another pair of losses to Senegal denied Bafana a spot in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Also Read: Chukwueze, Troost-Ekong On Target As Super Eagles Pip Bafana 2-1, Claim AFCON 2019 Semis Spot

He, however, redeemed himself by leading the team to AFCON qualification, finishing unbeaten in the qualification campaign.

In the finals in Egypt, Bafana Bafana only just skated past the group stage, before famously eliminating the host nation Egypt in the Round of 16.

They were eventually sent packing in the quarterfinals after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Nigeria.

Baxter leaves the post after being in charge of Bafana Bafana for 21 matches, winning eight, with four draws and nine defeats.

Throughout his second stint, he made no bones about an uncomfortable working relationship with SAFA and, following Bafana Bafana’s exit from the AFCON, revealed that he would take time to decide whether or not to carry on.

“I am going back to Sweden for a few days and will look at myself to say if I can take this team forward,” Baxter said in July.

“If the answer is no‚ then I will step aside. But if the answer is yes‚ I will come back and speak to my employers.

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“It is one where everyone has to have a hard look at themselves in the mirror,” Baxter was quoted as saying by Southafrican.com.

“I am going back to Sweden for a few days and will look at myself to say if I can take this team forward,” Baxter said in July.

“If the answer is no‚ then I will step aside. But if the answer is yes‚ I will come back and speak to my employers. It is one where everyone has to have a hard look at themselves in the mirror.”

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