Even Danny Jordaan doesn’t know Stuart Baxter’s fate

NO CLARITY Safa president Danny Jordaan is not certain whether his organisation will retain Stuart Baxter as Bafana Bafana head coach. Picture: Theo Jeptha
NO CLARITY Safa president Danny Jordaan is not certain whether his organisation will retain Stuart Baxter as Bafana Bafana head coach. Picture: Theo Jeptha

The president of Safa, Danny Jordaan, is not sure whether Stuart Baxter will continue as Bafana Bafana’s head coach.

Speculation is rife that Baxter could return to club football with a lucrative deal already lined up in China. Other rumours link the 65-year-old with a move back to his old club, Kaizer Chiefs.

Shortly after Bafana’s elimination by Nigeria in the quarterfinals, the coach hinted that he “just about” knew what his future held, but refused to elaborate.

However, Jordaan said he had not had a conversation with Baxter yet.

“I think, overall, he is satisfied with the achievement of the team, but is he happy to stay? I don’t know,” Jordaan told a small group of South African media at the team’s hotel on Friday.

He continued: “Baxter and his technical team will complete their report. That will be forwarded to the technical committee to discuss. They will make an assessment and give us [the executive committee] a report on how they see the next few years into 2022, which is the Qatar World Cup, as well as Afcon in Cameroon in 2021.”

Thanks to their quarterfinal finish in Egypt, each Bafana player is guaranteed a R520 000 bonus, but it turns out that the players will have to wait to receive this windfall.

“CAF allocates prize monies, so when the players arrive in Johannesburg, we must not expect the cheque to be handed out then,” said Jordaan, adding that they had already explained this arrangement to the players.

The four losing quarterfinalists – South Africa, Ivory Coast, Benin and Madagascar – will each receive $800 000 (R11.1 million) from CAF.

Jordaan said Bafana played “extremely well” at Afcon.

“We must look at when Bafana came to Egypt. They last participated in the 2015 Afcon [discounting when South Africa hosted the 2013 edition]. In that tournament in 2015, we dropped out in the first round and, in 2017, we didn’t qualify. In 2019, we qualified.

“So I think expectations of the team’s performance in Egypt were low. The second thing is there were a lot of changes, and over a long period of time. We wanted to see a settled team, but it was very difficult to determine our starting 11 exactly.

“I think this tournament has, to a great extent, delivered a team that showed they could play against the best. We played against three teams that were at the World Cup in Russia – Nigeria, Morocco and Egypt.

“We lost to Nigeria and Morocco in the last minute due to mistakes on our part. But I think the team performed extremely well. We have not been to a quarterfinal since 2002.”

Jordaan said South Africa’s elimination of hosts Egypt in the Last 16 stood out as Bafana’s best performance in many years.

“This shows us what the team can deliver. We should look at how we can consolidate and continue to build on this success,” he said.

Bafana arrived back in the country yesterday.

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August 2020

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