Embattled Bafana coach Stuart Baxter raises eyebrows after calling private press conference

Stuart Baxter, head coach of South Africa instructs his players to thank fans after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals quarterfinal game between Nigeria and South Africa at Cairo International Stadium in Egypt on 10 July 2019.
Stuart Baxter, head coach of South Africa instructs his players to thank fans after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals quarterfinal game between Nigeria and South Africa at Cairo International Stadium in Egypt on 10 July 2019.
Image: © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Eyebrows were raised on Wednesday afternoon when beleaguered Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter invited media to a press conference he is to address on Friday at a private venue and not at his employers' Safa House headquarters.

This unconventional move has left Safa officials bemused as they do not know what Baxter is going to say to the media at the briefing that is being arranged by his business manager Steve Kapelushnik.

Kapelushnik could not be reached for comment.

Speculation is rife that Baxter‚ who led Bafana to an underwhelming quarterfinal stage exit at Afcon in Egypt‚ is going to announce his resignation.

A number of Safa officials have indicated off the record that they have lost confidence in Baxter after poor performances at Afcon in Egypt and he has been largely under increasing pressure from the media and the public.

An irritable Baxter said he was not desperate for the Bafana job when he was pressed by the media on the below par performances at the tournament in Egypt.

He also said that he was going to decide on his future while on holiday in Sweden and it appears that he has reached his decision.

“I have no problem leaving this job‚ don't confuse me with a coach who is desperate for a job. I am not a desperate coach who says‚ please don't sack me‚ please‚" he said after returning from Egypt.

"I turned down a job this week when I was at the Cup of Nations‚ I turned down a job last week from the Saudis and I turned down jobs in Asia and SA to be with this team.”

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

"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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