WILL BAX­TER COACH BAFANA?

CityPress - - Front Page - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

After fail­ing to meet its own dead­line to an­nounce Bafana Bafana’s new coach, the SA Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (Safa) has laid the blame at the door of the me­dia. On Fri­day, Safa pres­i­dent Danny Jor­daan ac­cused the me­dia of cre­at­ing con­fu­sion and ped­dling the wrong in­for­ma­tion. But the fact is that Safa has failed the na­tion be­cause Bafana still does not have a coach – al­most three months after Shakes Mashaba was sacked. This is a slap in the face of South Africans, who have been ea­gerly wait­ing to find out who his suc­ces­sor would be. But, in­stead, Safa has missed its own dead­line and ex­tended it. It is clear that there has not been any progress made in this re­gard. Five coaches were short-listed and it has since emerged that Safa could not agree on terms with some of them, while one had con­trac­tual is­sues with his em­ploy­ers. As a re­sult, the coun­try will end up with a fifth choice, which hardly in­spires con­fi­dence. Safa has missed a great op­por­tu­nity to win the na­tion’s con­fi­dence, which is ex­tremely lack­ing be­cause of the shenani­gans go­ing on at head­quar­ters. But now that the CAF elec­tions are out of the way, Jor­daan said he “was go­ing to work to deal with this mat­ter. There is no con­fu­sion. We have one per­son who we are deal­ing with. You [the me­dia] are cre­at­ing the con­fu­sion. We will let you know when we an­nounce the coach.” City Press has learnt that Su­per­Sport United coach Stu­art Bax­ter is in pole po­si­tion to land the plum job. The Safa ex­ec­u­tive will meet on Satur­day to rat­ify the new coach’s ap­point­ment. Jor­daan ac­cused the me­dia of cre­at­ing con­fu­sion over Dutch mid­fielder Kamo­h­elo Mokotjo. Last year, the FC Twente player took Dutch cit­i­zen­ship – re­nounc­ing his South African cit­i­zen­ship. “You made it an is­sue where there was noth­ing. Where was he born? He was born here and there is no is­sue at all. Watch him in his Bafana jer­sey in Dur­ban.” Bafana take on Guinea-Bis­sau in a friendly match in Dur­ban on Satur­day be­fore play­ing An­gola on Tues­day, ei­ther in Port El­iz­a­beth or East Lon­don. Care­taker coach Owen Da Gama has in­cluded some promis­ing young­sters, who did duty for the na­tional Un­der-20 team in the Africa Cup of Na­tions in Zam­bia. The in­clu­sion of these play­ers will surely raise the bar with po­si­tions up for grabs.

PHOTO: ANESH DEBIKY / GALLO IMAGES

CON­FU­SION Kamo­h­elo Mokotjo has been in­cluded in the Bafana squad

PHOTO: THEMBA MAKOFANE IMAGES

COURTED Stu­art Bax­ter is be­lieved to be on Safa’s radars

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