Stuart Baxter resigns as head coach of Bafana Bafana

South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter June 18
Baxter returned to the Bafana hot seat in May 2017 but he has now left the post after more than two years in charge of the senior team

Stuart Baxter has officially announced his resignation as head coach of South Africa.

There had been growing calls for Baxter to vacate his position following Bafana Bafana’s quarter-final exit at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt.

While Baxter looked set to continue in his role until after the 2022 Fifa World Cup, he found himself under immense pressure from the South African public to step down.

This was after below-par performances in the Group Stage, where Bafana qualified as one of the four third-best teams across all the groups.

"I do feel that someone else should now continue this project‚ and therefore I will be resigning from my position as head national coach at Safa," Baxter told the media. 

"I feel that I cannot continue to work with the required professionalism and passion as I have done‚ and to deal with the many issues that will be involved with this programme," he said. 

"A coach must have confidence that his input will help forward the project. And at this moment in time‚ and particularly after the experience of Afcon‚ my belief in that process is weakened considerably," Baxter continued. 

"I would like to thank each and every player who has played under me with Bafana in the last couple of years‚ and wish them all the best in their continued national careers. For their part, everyone at Safa house will need to work together with other major stakeholders effectively. And I would like to thank Russell [Paul‚ Safa’s acting CEO] and the president [Danny Jordaan]‚ and wish them good luck for the future with Vision 2022," concluded Baxter. 

The 65-year-old mentor helped Bafana qualify for Afcon 2019 finals, the team’s first since 2015 when Shakes Mashaba was head coach, but the team never really looked threatening.  

In his second spell as head coach of Bafana, Baxter managed 21 games, won eight, lost nine and drew four.

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Reports suggest Baxter could be heading to either China or Saudi Arabia, having reportedly received offers from the two countries.

However, the coach said he didn't know where his future lies at this stage before his agent Steve Kapeluschnik confirmed there were several clubs that showed interest in Baxter even before the start of Afcon 2019 in Egypt.    

Safa acting CEO Russell Paul said he will meet with his technical committee to map the way forward and search for Baxter’s replacement.