For better or worse, SA is stuck with Baxter for next number of years

Aubrey Modiba of Bafana and Karl Hopprich of Seychelles during their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the FNB Stadium, where Bafana won 6-0 before drawing 0-0 in the return match midweek.
Aubrey Modiba of Bafana and Karl Hopprich of Seychelles during their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at the FNB Stadium, where Bafana won 6-0 before drawing 0-0 in the return match midweek.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Like it or not, Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter isn't going anywhere any time soon. There have been growing calls from a number of quarters for Safa to give Baxter the boot.

This after a string of substandard performances under his watch which include failures over upstarts Cape Verde, Libya and Seychelles.

The most recent was their failure to beat an amateur national team - the Seychelles - in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in midweek. The displays under Baxter have inspired little hope that Bafana can challenge some of the stronger national teams on the continent and the world.

This led to minister of sport and recreation Tokozile Xasa lashing out at Bafana for the poor results. "If they continue not to take things seriously, people will be held accountable. We want to engage with them moving forward.

"The problems have been growing when it comes to men's football in the country. They are not excelling.

"Bafana players must put in the effort when they are playing for the country and understand the importance of playing and having national colours," Xasa said.

However, Baxter is not about to resign and relinquish millions of rand that are due to him in his contract. The 65-year-old coach has been known to be a money-grabber as was seen when he nearly rejoined Kaizer Chiefs in June.

Baxter wanted to have his cake and eat it when he wanted a payout to leave Bafana while also lining himself up for a big signing-on fee and salary at Naturena. His employers know very well that they cannot even think of firing him before they consider the financial implications.

Safa's dire fiscal troubles have been well-documented this year, with the federation having suffered a R20m loss.

They literally cannot afford to fire Baxter. This is fuelled by the fact that Safa's biggest source of revenue - the SABC - is in a financial crisis.

Safa makes 70% of its income from the SABC, which amounts to about R100m a year. In the last two weeks, the two bodies have had public spats that suggest the matter is far from being resolved. Like it or not, for better or worse, we are stuck with Baxter for now at least.

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