Shakes Mashaba blasts Baxter

Bafana's Thulani Serero, seen here in action against Nigeria in November, made a dramatic return to the national side after snubbing the team for some time. / Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Bafana's Thulani Serero, seen here in action against Nigeria in November, made a dramatic return to the national side after snubbing the team for some time. / Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has slammed his successor Stuart Baxter, insinuating the Brit's squad selection is influenced by outside forces and accused him of favouritism.

Baxter replaced Mashaba late in 2016 after the SA Football Association disciplinary committee found the latter guilty of gross misconduct, insubordination and violating its communications policy.

Asked what Bafana should do to win their all-important Africa Cup of Nations final qualifier away to Libya in March, Mashaba did not hold back and accused Baxter of favouritism, implying the Bafana mentor was swayed by certain people when making selections.

"I think number one. what can make us win [against Libya], stop favouritism. As a coach, work with your technical team. Number two. stop this thing of being influenced when selecting the team," said Mashaba, without elaborating.

To book their ticket to the next Afcon edition in Egypt between June and July, SA only need to avoid defeat against Libya. Mashaba thinks Baxter does not select players on merit, feeling some players don't deserve a call-up.

"Sit on the grand stand and watch players play, because at the moment there are players who do not deserve to be in the national team. I do not care what people say. but they are there, I do not know why," noted Mashaba, without naming those players.

The 68-year-old tactician, who coaches National First Division side Witbank Spurs, indirectly slammed Thulani Serero, who quit the national team and then returned.

Baxter recently recalled Serero to the team after the midfielder had indicated he would not come unless guaranteed a starting berth.

"Mina [I] used to say if you think you're good for national team but you do not want to play, it's fine. I had that mentality that in the absence of the best I make the worst the best. Take the ones who've been written off, they will deliver for you," said Mashaba.

Having called him up to Bafana when he was still in the NFD with Black Leopards in 2015, Mashaba was surprised that Kaizer Chiefs' Siphelele Ntshangase has not made much progress at both club and national team level.

"I sympathise with that player [Ntshangase] because he deserves to be in the national team, he should be commanding a regular position at his club," he said.

X