Bafana Bafana have a new head coach, Stuart Baxter, but let’s take a moment to recognise the staggering incompetence of the South African Football Association in a process that has taken more than two-and-a-half months to complete.
It was in mid-February that Safa president Danny Jordaan laid out the criteria for the new man, stating he wanted someone in place by the end of that month.
Since then, Safa have stumbled around like an organisation with absolutely no direction, which, if you have followed South African football over the past 15 years at least, is not that surprising, but no less irritating.
For all Jordaan’s talk in February of money being no object, it looks clear that it was the main problem in the failure to appoint a bigger name than Baxter – notably both Carlos Queiroz and Herve Renard, and even Hugo Broos. Further nonsense streamed out of Safa for weeks afterwards, with repeated promises of an imminent appointment never materialising.
Even Baxter was said to be getting fed up with the lack of communication coming out of the organisation during negotiations.
In a normal world, someone in Safa’s head would roll for this mess, but one only needs to look to President Jacob Zuma’s example to see that in South Africa, accountability at the top rarely applies.
Safa tends to always blame the head coach for everything that is wrong with their national team (see a raft of sackings), instead of looking inward at their own abundant problems.
Which brings us to Baxter. He is a good coach and has proved this in abundance since his last spell with Bafana, winning a host of trophies with Kaizer Chiefs and also achieving success at SuperSport United.
But even with the excellent salary he is no doubt receiving, and with the ambition of making it to a World Cup, knowing what we know about Safa, is this really a job worth taking?