Saturday Aug 31, 2019. 17:00
Molefi Ntseki was named on Saturday as the new coach of Bafana Bafana at a meeting of the South African Football Association as its national executive committee sought to keep the job in house rather than hire from outside.
It is the first senior job for the 50-year-old who is the coach of the country’s under-17 team and worked as one of the assistants with the national team under the last three coaches.
He was Stuart Baxter’s assistant at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt in June and after Baxter announced his resignation was named caretaker coach for the September 7 friendly away against Zambia.
But he will now be given a contract through to the end of the 2022 World Cup.
A former teacher, Ntseki worked at a football academy before becoming assistant coach at Bloemfontein Celtic.
He then joined SAFA to work with the junior national teams, talking the under-17s to the 2017 U-17 World Cup in Chile
The appointment will come as a shock as it was expected that SAFA would offer it to one of the successful coaches from the country’s Premier Soccer League clubs.
the favourites for the job were Gavin Hunt (Bidvest Wits), Steve Komphela (Lamontville Golden Arrows) and Benni McCarthy (Cape Town City).
But they were overlooked as SAFA’s leadership made a unanimous decision at a meeting in Johannesburg on Saturday.
The appointment reflects the financial crisis within SAFA, who have strenuously denied newspaper reports of being near bankruptcy.
Ntseki will also have qualification for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations to deal with where South Africa have been grouped with Ghana, Sudan, and one of Mauritius or Sao Tome and Príncipe in the qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, a pool they are expected to negotiate, while the 2022 World Cup qualifiers get under way in March next year.
South Africa have suffered from years of under-achievement at senior international level having been crowned 1996 Cup of Nations champions, and appeared at the 1998, 2002 and 2010 World Cups, the latter as hosts.