Mixed messages: Broos reveals Ntseki as Bafana assistant, Safa issues denial

15 May 2021 - 10:31
By Marc Strydom
Then Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki during a media briefing at Hilton Hotel in Johannesburg on March 22, 2021.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images Then Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki during a media briefing at Hilton Hotel in Johannesburg on March 22, 2021.

In another case of uncoordinated messaging from the SA Football Association, Hugo Broos on Friday night announced in a radio interview that former Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki would be his assistant, prompting a denial by Safa.

Broos, in an interview on SAfm radio appeared to let the cat out of the bag that Ntseki, who the new Bafana head coach has replaced, will remain on as an assistant-coach.

“My local assistant coach is the former Bafana coach, Molefi Ntseki,” Broos told the Sport On SAfm show.

“I have met with him twice already and the man is an encyclopedia, he knows all the players here and he’s happy to be assistant again. That’s good to me, because I asked him if he’s sure and he said, ‘Yes’.”

This prompted a denial from Safa on their official Twitter account.

“Contrary to widespread news, Safa would like to clarify to all football fans that the association has not appointed any local assistant coach for Bafana Bafana” Safa tweeted.

“The name making headlines is not the association’s position. The Safa NEC will appoint a local assistant coach soon.”

It remains to be seen if Broos jumped the gun on Ntseki’s appointment, and it will not transpire due to potential politics and dynamics between Safa and their former head coach, or whether it now is just a formality for the appointment of Ntseki as Broos’ assistant to be ratified by the NEC.

Ntseki’s dismissal had been announced by Safa on March 31, after Bafana’s failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

After what had appeared a protracted negotiation period on the specifics of the coach being released from his contract, Safa had announced in a press release on May 6 that Ntseki and the association had “officially agreed to part ways”.

This is a second confusing instance of messaging from Safa regarding their appointment of a successor as head coach to Ntseki. On the night of Friday, April 23, having said the announcement of the new coach would be on Saturday, April 24, Safa sent out a statement postponing the presentation.

Broos was eventually announced as the new coach on May 5.

If Ntseki is retained in the new Bafana technical team he will join Belgian-Macedonian Cedomir Janevski as Broos’ assistants.