Bafana Bafana

Baxter: SA potentially hosting AFCON is 'bittersweet'

2018-12-04 15:10
Stuart Baxter
Stuart Baxter (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter admits that South Africa potentially hosting the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) would be 'bittersweet' as he is aiming to qualify outright.

READ: Cameroon stripped as hosts of 2019 Africa Cup of Nations

SAFA announced on Sunday that it had agreed in principle to honour CAF's plea to host the tournament after Cameroon were dramatically stripped of the continental showpiece.

"The Confederation of African Football has asked the Association to seriously consider hosting AFCON 2019. SAFA will however, meet the Government first before making a decision," wrote the national team on its verified Twitter account which was then re-tweeted by SAFA.

Baxter though, according to TimesLive, said that he wants the national team to qualify on merit for the tournament.

"You don't want to sort of turn off the competitive nature of the Libya game because someone’s suddenly give you a free pass‚" Baxter said.

"So for me‚ I would say it [hosting] would be great because our strategy was that the players need to take part in a major tournament as a part of their development.

The 65-year-old added that a gruelling qualifying campaign would develop his players' mentality in overcoming past failures in previous qualification disappointments.

"I also don't want to turn off the competitive nature of the players to go there [to play Libya away‚ probably in Tunisia] in a situation with a knife at their throats and actually get the result that they need.

"So‚ if I’m being really honest‚ I’ve tried to ignore it [the potential hosting]. For the reason that I want to keep preparing for this game as if it’s the one that’s going to take us there."

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2019  |  stuart baxter  |  soccer


Read News24’s Comments Policy


After Stuart Baxter stepped down as Bafana Bafana head coach, who would you like to see take over?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.