International Football: South Africa coach Baxter resigns
In more football news, South Africa will begin the search for a new coach after Stuart Baxter resigned. The Englishman led them to the quarterfinals of the Africa Cup of Nations last month but said he no longer wants to continue. CGTN's Sias du Plessis has more.
It came as no surprise when Stuart Baxter made the announcement at a press conference he had arranged away from the South African Football Association headquarters.
STUART BAXTER EX-SOUTH AFRICA COACH "I do however feel that someone else should now continue with this project and therefore I will be resigning as national head coach with SAFA. I feel that I cannot continue to work with the professionalism and passion that I have done and to deal with the many issues that will be involved with this program."
The 65-year-old would not reveal the exact reasons for his departure from SAFA and says he has no concrete plans as yet and will explore his options in the upcoming weeks when he returns to Sweden.
STUART BAXTER EX-SOUTH AFRICA COACH "At some point you say at the age you are, the point in your career, the point in your life is this what you want to be doing, if it is then you have to be getting a lot out of it and so really that plays a part to a degree, but that is not a decisive part, it is a combination of the whole situation that I am working in."
Baxter will receive no compensation despite media speculation of vast amounts owed to him by SAFA, but he feels that the future is bright as long as no complacency is shown ahead for the qualifying campaign for the next World Cup.
STUART BAXTER EX-SOUTH AFRICA COACH "I think if you look at the 4 phases that I outlined for SAFA, we're on track, I think the next phase of gaining momentum will be really vital because you need to pick up speed now and build confidence and again I've said it before, you have to pull together and you guys have to pull together as well."
SIAS DU PLESSIS JOHANNESBURG "There is no doubt Stuart Baxter's had an immense impact on Bafana, he has put together a squad that the nation can be excited about and he is responsible for one of the biggest upsets in AFCON history, he leaves with his head held high and whoever steps into those big shoes only time will tell, but they will know full well that this is a potential poisoned chalice. Sias du Plessis, CGTN, Johannesburg."