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South Africa

How Ntseki could be out of the running to assist Broos at Bafana Bafana

12:24 WAT 06/05/2021
Cameroon, Hugo Broos
The Afcon-winning coach is expected to announce his backroom staff when he jets into Johannesburg next week

Safa has confirmed former Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has officially left the association in what could rule him out of consideration to be part of new coach Hugo Broos’ technical team.

Broos is expected in South Africa next week to start work, taking over from where Ntseki left off and the Belgian should be relieved that the 2022 World Cup qualifiers have been postponed from June to September.

After Ntseki was fired at the end of March following Bafana’s failure to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals, there was so much anticipation on who was going to succeed him. 

Now, all the attention is on who Broos will rope in as his assistant coach. 

“The South African Football Association together with coach Molefi Ntseki have officially agreed to part ways amicably, following the senior national team’s failure to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations,” Safa said in a statement on Thursday.

Ntseki leaves Bafana Bafana after taking charge of nine games in which he won four, drew two and lost three. 

Before being appointed South Africa coach, he went to the 2019 Afcon tournament as Stuart Baxter’s assistant. 

His successor Broos received a lifeline on Thursday when Caf moved the World Cup qualifiers to the September, October and November international windows.  

Soon after his appointment on Wednesday, he had initially been scheduled to take Bafana to Harare for the June 5 World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe, before another stern challenge awaits six days later when South Africa were fixtured to host Ghana in what would have been their second Group G match. 

“The Caf Emergency Committee, in consultation with Fifa, decided to postpone the Caf qualifiers for the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022 that were due to be played in June 2021 after taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams,” said Caf in a statement. 

“The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.  Caf is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of Covid-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows.”

In the final round of Afcon qualifiers, Covid-19 wreaked havoc on most teams with some European leagues not releasing their players for international duty. 

Test results proved controversial, leading to Group L not being finalised where the match between Benin and Sierra Leone being postponed.