Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has been fired, SA Football Association (Safa) CEO Teboho Motlanthe announced at a press conference at Safa House in Nasrec on Wednesday.
This follows Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Sudan in Omdurman that saw Bafana fail to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), when a draw would have seen the South Africans reach the tournament finals in Cameroon in January and February next year.
“The decision was taken at about 10 am. This was an NEC decision, it was taken in a round-robin,” said CEO Motlanthe.
Molefi Ntseki has been sacked as Bafana Bafana coach. pic.twitter.com/qlx5grjD3i
— Mahlatse Mphahlele (@BraMahlatse) March 31, 2021
Bafana, hit by some withdrawals due to a Fifa circular saying clubs did not have to release players over Covid-19, had also failed to beat an even more understrength Ghana at FNB Stadium on Thursday.
That result, though, had been left mostly academic by the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf) head-to-head ruling, with the mathematical permutations indicating that Bafana needed a draw or win away to Sudan in their closing match.
Ghana, who beat Bafana 2-0 in the opening game in Cape Coast in November 2019, topped Group C with 13 points.
Sudan qualified in second place with 12, Bafana were third with 10, and Sao Tome and Principe had zero.
In mitigation, Ntseki faced some of the toughest, if not the toughest, circumstances encountered by a Bafana coach.
On top of that, the former SA under-17 national coach also lacked experience at senior level.
He was appointed to replace the head coach he was assistant to, Stuart Baxter, in late August 2019.
Baxter resigned in early August 2019, weeks after steering Bafana to a quarterfinal place at the 2019 Afcon finals in Egypt.