- The South African Football Association has made it clear they will not try to stop Kaizer Chiefs from bringing coach Stuart Baxter back to the club
- Baxter, a former Bafana Bafana employee of SAFA's, has been heavily linked with a possible return to the DStv Premiership side, Chiefs, to replace axed Gavin Hunt
- SAFA's sentiments come as Chiefs are reportedly engaged in talks with Baxter, who was fired by Indian club Odisha FC after making unsavoury remarks about rape
- The coaching position at Chiefs has become vacant after the club decided to part ways with the experienced Hunt last Friday
The South African Football Association says it will not stop DStv Premiership side Kaizer Chiefs from hiring coach Stuart Baxter. Baxter has been heavily linked with a possible return to Naturena to replace Gavin Hunt, who was sacked last week.
The former Bafana Bafana manager’s name has been bandied about as the favourite to lead the Soweto giants next season. According to TimesLIVE, the Mzansi football governing body is not against the English man’s return to the local top-flight.
SAFA head of communications Dominic Chimhavi told the website that they will not treat Baxter like the embattled Luc Eymael, who had made racist comments while coaching in Tanzania.
Baxter was shown the exit door for his remarks while in charge of Indian club Odisha FC.
Baxter said at the time:
“You need decisions to go your way‚ and they didn’t. I don’t know when we are going to get a penalty. I think one of my players will have to rape someone or get raped himself if he was going to get a penalty.”
Chimhavi told TimesLIVE:
“The position of SAFA is that the two matters are different. With the Luc Eymael issue‚ we received correspondence from the Tanzanian Football Association to say this is what the guy had done‚ and it will be prudent that all African federations close ranks and show him there is no room for utterances like that on the continent.
“The difference with Baxter is that this happened in India. He apologised and they smoked the piece pipe‚ shook hands and it was over. From SAFA’s perspective‚ there won’t be a problem if Chiefs were to hire him to become their coach. No problem at all.”
The publication has it that the Soweto giants are desperate to bring back the former manager and the decision is expected to be made public sooner rather than later.
Baxter's agent speaks out
Soccer Laduma reports that Baxter’s representative Steve Kapeluschnik has requested a meeting with the former SuperSport United boss as the talks with Chiefs are at an advanced stage. He said:
“I am in KwaZulu-Natal at the moment and have asked Stuart to meet me. He is on his way to Johannesburg and we will meet soon to discuss his next step forward.”
Ntseki could be part of Baxter's technical team at Chiefs
Meanwhile, Briefly News reported that Baxter has been named by insiders as the next head coach at Chiefs with Molefi Ntseki as his assistant. According to TimesLIVE, the former Bafana coach will take over at Chiefs. Stuart had previously coached the team in 2015 before parting ways with the club.
Stuart had reportedly asked for Ntseki as his assistant before he returned to the club. The two worked together when Baxter coached the national team from 2017 until 2019, according to IOL.
Baxter and Ntseki are expected to take the reigns of the club before the semifinals of the CAF Champions League this month. In the meantime, assistant coaches Arthur Zwane and Dillon Sheppard are in charge of the club.
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