BELIEF IN BAFANA PARAMOUNT
Stuart Baxter brushes off ‘all the negativity’
Addressing the media for the first time since being appointed Bafana coach, Stuart Baxter spoke of unity and his legacy.
But it will take more than words for Baxter to win over everyone, as the South African Football Association’s (Safa’s) decision to appoint the Brit has received mixed reaction.
The association settled for Baxter after money became an issue in the protracted search when Safa could not tie down frontrunners Carlos Queiroz‚ Herve Renard and Hugo Broos.
Baxter does not have an international football CV as impressive as those three. What he has over them‚ though‚ is a good understanding of South African football.
"If I worry about all the negativity that people could throw up, that diminishes my ability to do the job properly‚" Baxter said. "I have to believe in the team. I’ve got to believe in the process and I’ve got to believe that we will be successful.
"There are a million reasons why people will suggest that we won’t be successful."
Safa president Danny Jordaan has disputed reports that Baxter is on a salary of R1m a month.
Briefing Parliament’s sports and recreation portfolio committee on Wednesday‚ Jordaan also disputed claims that Baxter had demanded that his son Lee be appointed as the national team’s goalkeeper coach.
"Did Baxter make a demand that [his son must be a goalkeeper coach]? No. Is Baxter getting R1m a month? No. Is Baxter getting more than Shakes Mashaba? No‚" he said.
Both Jordaan and Safa CEO Dennis Mumble flatly refused to give the exact amount paid to Baxter.