Stuart Baxter on Friday resigned as Bafana Bafana head coach bringing an end to a turbulent second spell in charge of the men's national team.
Baxter was appointed on May 4, 2017, and was handed a five-year contract until June 2022 with the mandate of guiding Bafana Bafana to the 2022 Soccer World Cup in Qatar.
Reading from a prepared statement while flanked by SAFA CEO Russell Paul, Baxter confirmed that he was stepping down with immediate effect.
"Someone should continue with this project and therefore I am resigning as Bafana Bafana head coach," Baxter said.
"It was my personal decision to step down. 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 involved with this programme. I've chosen not to point fingers in the past and will not do that now, and even when it would have been better for me personally to blame others I've tried to recognise what I could do to affect the situation and keep a level of integrity."
SAFA had previously confirmed that Baxter failed to hand in a performance report on the African showpiece and instead headed immediately to Sweden on holiday.
The 65-year-old though has a poor record at the helm with a win ratio of just 38% having overseen 21 matches in charge.
Meanwhile, the Bafana Bafana out-going coach, Stuart Baxter will earn exactly R0 from the remainder of his contract‚ he revealed at his press conference announcing his resignation in Johannesburg on Friday.
Calculations have been that the SA Football Association (Safa)‚ had they wanted to fire Baxter‚ would have had to pay out around R17m remaining in the three years left on his contract.
Safa acting chief executive Russell Paul‚ who attended the press conference at Killarney Country Club that was strangely privately called by Baxter‚ was asked if any settlement figure had been negotiated with the coach for him to resign.
“I’ll answer that for Russell. The settlement will be a massive zero‚” Baxter said.
“This is not about money. It’s never been about money for me. It’s been an honour to coach the national team. I’ve been very upset when people have written things like‚ ‘The coach is not doing anything. Look at the PSL coaches and how hard they’re working‚ and the stress they’re under’‚ quoting anything between R12m and now R17m [to pay Baxter out should he be fired].
“It’s obviously the easiest way of upsetting people who are struggling in South Africa. To say that‚ ‘This lazy national coach who earns a fortune…’. This has never been about money. And all of those quotes were so far off the mark it was embarrassing. Now‚ I’m resigning my role. Therefore‚ if Safa said to me‚ ‘We would like you to stay for two weeks extra or one month extra to help us in a transition’‚ then I would be paid for that.
“But I won’t be paid anything for not doing anything‚ and certainly not for resigning from my job. What I’m going to do next‚ I don’t know.”
Paul then confirmed that Baxter would not be paid a settlement figure.
“The coach has answered your question. So as far as we are concerned‚ we are at that place‚” Safa's acting boss said.
Baxter failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in his second stint with Bafana of just over two years‚ but reached the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations‚ where South Africa exited in the quarterfinals with a 2-1 defeat to Nigeria.
– Sports24 / Timeslive