Safa, time is right to end Stuart Baxter reign

Bafana Bafana ex-coach Stuart Baxter.
Bafana Bafana ex-coach Stuart Baxter.
Image: GALLO IMAGES

It may not be a bad idea for SA's Football Association (Safa) and Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter to part ways now.

Firstly, the relationship between the two parties is allegedly strained, with Baxter having apparently complained that he's not received support from Safa, especially regarding the friendlies he wanted ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt two months ago.

Bafana had to play 11 v 11 among themselves in some cases and Baxter was apparently hopping mad.

Secondly, there is time to find a new coach before the qualifiers for the 2021 Afcon and 2022 Fifa World Cup start.

There are still four months before the 2021 group stage qualifiers begin (in November). South Africa are in Group C with Ghana, Sudan, as well as Mauritius or Sao Tome Principe.

Whoever takes over should have time to do research on the opponents rather than go with the idea that Ghana will be the most difficult in the group and ignore the rest, which may be a dangerous thing to do, considering Bafana's past with little-known opponents.

Bafana's 3-1 defeat to Mauritania in the Afcon qualifiers back in 2015 comes to mind. Needless to say, Bafana failed to qualify for the 2017 Afcon edition.

As for the World Cup qualifiers, Bafana will start later after they they got a bye in the preliminary round.

There is some school of thought that Bafana can build on their performance in the Afcon - they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by Nigeria.

Be that as it may, whoever takes over will have their work cut out anyway, because Bafana have underperformed for years.

So, it's very important that the new man in charge comes in as quickly as possible. Safa cannot afford to waste any more time considering that September is around the corner. We are saying that they have to move fast to find the right man for the job. But Safa shouldn't do a rush job simply to fill a vacancy.

What they need to realise is that there are constant changes to the technical team, with coaches coming and going. There have been five coaches since 2010.

To Safa, move on from Baxter, but get the right man and back him.

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