EXCLUSIVE | Ex-Bafana coach Ntseki: ‘We heard from the press conference the contract was terminated’

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Former-Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki.
Former-Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki.
Image: Gallo Images

Former Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki only found out during the press conference that was addressed by the South African Football Association (Safa) on March 31 that he had been fired from his job‚ the coach has said.

Safa chief executive Tebogo Motlanthe announced at that press briefing that the association had agreed to part ways with Ntseki after consultations with the national executive committee (NEC).

“We all know how the whole thing was handled‚” Ntseki told TimesLIVE in his first interview since he was sacked by Safa.

“On the March 31 we heard from the press conference that the coach’s contract had been terminated. Me and my management agency were very surprised to hear it from that platform‚ that the contract had been terminated.

“It happened like that and we could not do anything about it. The most important thing for me and my agency was to say we had done our part in trying to protect the interests of football‚ but if your bosses say ‘thank you and goodbye’ you can’t force them to do otherwise.

“You can’t change something like that. By saying the contract has been terminated it means we are no longer seeing things the same way‚ we are no longer going in the same direction because we feel the failure of the team is about the coach and not any other thing.

“As a coach‚ we all know that you get hired to get fired and at the end of the day you must take your jacket and leave and look for other avenues in life.

“Coaching is my profession and it is my passion‚ and being a national team coach is every coach’s wish. Despite the challenges I enjoyed every moment whether negative or positive.”

Ntseki also confirmed that he had meetings with new coach Hugo Broos regarding being his assistant-coach‚ but said he did not want to go into the details of why he did not get the job.

“I was approached by Safa to say‚ ‘Now that we have terminated your contract‚ we feel you can be of help to the national team‚ please consider a position within the association on a technical level’.

“There were many options that were presented to us and because of the passion and knowing the mentality of the players we considered helping an international coach who doesn’t know much about South African players.

“I was going to work with someone who is very experienced and it was going to work for me to gain more experience by working with this new coach who would be coming. That was an agreement that was reached between my agency and Safa to say‚ ‘When the coach comes there will be a meeting between you and the new coach’.

“But‚ what we were told was that they spoke to the coach during his interview and he alluded to the fact that he wanted to work with the former coach. I met the coach and in our meetings on the May13 and 14‚ we managed to find each other and I was happy with the presentation and the discussion that was coming from the side of the coach.

“He also wanted to know more on what I could contribute and what I knew and he was very happy‚ and I would say that it what prompted him to say positive things about me on the radio because of the research he did about me.”

Broos had announced in a radio interview on May 14 that Ntseki would be his new coach. However this did not transpire as it later emerged that Safa and Ntseki could not agree terms.