Bafana Bafana

Baxter: Hosting AFCON a blessing and a curse

Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says that automatic qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in 2019 by hosting the event is a "blessing and a curse".

South Africa appear to be favourites to host Africa's most prestigious international competition in 2019, after elected hosts Cameroon were stripped of the rights due to inadequate infrastructure.

According to reports, CAF have asked the South African Football Association to host the tournament and President Danny Jordaan has indicated a willingness to do so should government assist.

It appears a mixed blessing for Bafana in that they needed a point against Libya next year to qualify by their own rights - a challenge Baxter was relishing.

He told KickOff website: "I mean it's like a blessing and a curse, isn't it? Let's put me in the spot as a professional coach.

"I think a game with the knife at the throat against Libya for this group of players, in their development, would be massive.

"There's a part of me that wants to play the game anyway, but AFCON on home soil for these group of players would be massive.

"Can we get both? I hope so. I hope that no matter what the decision is, we get to play Libya.

"In terms of me preparing, I have to forget that I've heard that and keep on trying to get the players together. We need to keep doing the stuff we are doing to prepare for Libya. In my world, we are playing Libya and that's it.

"Obviously the sooner we get an indication the better. If we get that shout early, and we know what it is, then that will be better."

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