Baxter To Bafana… Who’s Fooling Who?
Is Stuart Baxter the new head coach of Bafana Bafana or not? There have been reports that the Englishman’s move has been finalised, but that is not believed to be the case.
The Siya crew reported earlier this week that negotiations between the parties were ongoing as SAFA tried to persuade Baxter to leave SuperSport and join up with the national team. Days later, that is still the case.
However, despite the fact that Baxter has not put pen to paper and that he leaves for Liberia with Matsatsantsa today, members of SAFA, including the President, seem to have gotten their respective wires crossed.
Danny Jordaan confirmed in the media on Thursday that their new coach had been finalised, while communications officer, Dominic Chimhavi, who confirmed that a deal was done last month, stressed that pen had been put to paper.
Now, with Baxter preparing his troops for a trip to Monrovia, SAFA’s CEO has admitted that they’re not just talking to the former Kaizer Chiefs coach, but are also working on ‘alternatives’.
Jordaan to Phakaaathi:
“We have our coach, it is finalised.”
Chimhavi to the Sowetan:
"We've finalised everything and pen has been put to paper. The announcement could be tomorrow or anytime from now. It's just a matter of calling you guys (the media) to the official announcement."
Mumble to TimesLive:
“We have never said that we are talking to only one person. We have to make sure that we have alternatives and that’s what we are working on now. I can’t mention names but there is more than one person we are talking to and it is something that we really have to try and finalise as soon as possible.”
Meanwhile, Baxter to Soccer Laduma:
“I’ve got nothing more to say on the matter. I’m focused on SuperSport at the moment, and if you’ve gotten information from SAFA, then I’ve no more to add.”
Baxter and SuperSport leave for Liberia later today as they face Barrack Young Controllers in the CAF Confederation Cup, and given that they are flying through Lagos, Nigeria and will only return to Mzansi on Tuesday.
If SAFA fails to finalise things prior to Baxter’s departure then it seems unlikely that they will do it in the next few days and with SuperSport facing Mamelodi Sundowns just two days after their return, they may struggle for a window to get things sorted.