Multiple injuries forces Baxter to call off Bafana Bafana's camp early

09 October 2017 - 15:01 By Mahlatse Mphahlele
Stuart Baxter coach of South Africa with SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan and Minister of Sports Thulas Nxesi during 2018 World Cup qualifier football match between South Africa and Burkina Faso on the 7 October 2017 at Soccer City, Johannesburg.
Stuart Baxter coach of South Africa with SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan and Minister of Sports Thulas Nxesi during 2018 World Cup qualifier football match between South Africa and Burkina Faso on the 7 October 2017 at Soccer City, Johannesburg.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter called off the national team’s camp on Monday to allow players to report back to their clubs earlier than expected and he is likely to ask for a similar favour next month.

Baxter‚ who faces possible dismissal if Bafana Bafana fail to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year‚ is expected to request clubs to reciprocate the gesture in the build up to the must win and back to back clashes against Senegal next month.

“This will assist local-based players to report early at their teams as we want to keep a healthy relationship with all the clubs.

"We also believe this will help overseas-based players to spend a few more hours with their families than would have been possible before they jet out of the country to return to their clubs‚” said Baxter about his decision.

"Baxter added that their decision was also made easier by the fact that most of the players in the national team were carrying injuries.

“After serious deliberation with the technical team‚ we decided that it is not in the best interest of the players to continue with another training session on Monday.

"What also pushed us to that decision was the many players carrying injuries and we felt they would be better off if given more time to rest to help them recover quicker.”

Bafana Bafana 3-1 win over Burkina Faso has refreshed their chances of qualifying for Russia but they must beat Senegal in two successive matches starting at the Peter Mokaba Stadium on 10 November 2017.

Failure to get maximum points against Senegal in Polokwane will eliminate Bafana Bafana from qualifying for the World Cup rendering their final qualifier against the same opposition at the Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor four days a dead rubber.

“Senegal’s victory over Cape Verde last weekend has tilted the scale slightly in our favour and now we are still very much alive in the qualifiers.

"I have been saying we have to live in the here and now and what happens in the other match is not our concern.

"We have to win the remaining matches and we are off to Russia‚ anything less we know we are out.


X