Stuart Baxter has this morning made a decision on his future as Bafana Bafana coach, revealing that “someone else should continue the project”.
At a press conference in Johannesburg, the 65-year-old Englishman confirmed he would be stepping down despite still having three more years to his contract. Baxter is fresh from leading Bafana to the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt last month and had been under enormous pressure to resign despite this feat.
His critics felt the brand of football played by Bafana was incredibly negative as the national team lost their opener to Ivory Coast, beat Namibia 1-0 and against suffered defeat when they faced Morocco in their final Group D clash.
Bafana were still able to qualify for the last 16 as one of four best ranked teams from the group phase and set-up a fixtures against the host – winning that 1-0 to progress to the quarterfinals against Nigeria.
Baxter took over after Shakes Mashaba, who was sacked by the South African Football Association in December 2016, though Bafana were top of their World Cup qualification group at the time. Baxter did not manage to see that through, but the national team was able to qualify for the Afcon this year.
“It was my personal decision,” he told the media on Friday morning. He also confirmed there will be no pay-out for the remainder of his contract.
“There is no monetary settlement. This had nothing to do with money. The figures quoted about my salary have been embarrassing and way off the mark.”
Baxter said he was committed to the team throughout his tenure.
“I’ve had at least one lucrative offer, but I was fully committed to this country. The week before the Libya game the doctor told me I might have cancer and I said no I am leaving with this team. My commitment to the SA cause has been undoubted,” he said.