The South African Football Association (SAFA) has fired Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki who has been in charge of the men’s national football team for just 20 months.
SAFA made the widely expected announcement on Wednesday during a press conference at SAFA House, Johannesburg.
Media reports indicated that Ntseki had refused to resign during a “tense” meeting with the Association earlier this week.
Failed AFCON campaign
Ntseki, who was relatively unknown when SAFA surprisingly picked him for the job in August 2019, failed to take Bafana Bafana to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
The national team needed just a draw in their game against Sudan over the weekend to qualify for the continental championship. However, they suffered an embarrassing 2-0 loss.
Sudan and Ghana qualified from Group C, with Bafana Bafana ending their run at a disappointing third place in the group ahead of São Tomé and Principe.
This appears to have sealed Ntseki’s fate, as SAFA chose to terminate his five-year contract with more than three years left.
During his tenure, Ntseki oversaw Bafana Bafana’s nine matches. Of these, the team won four, lost three and drew two.
Search for new coach
SAFA will now begin the search for a new coach who will be the 10th in 15 years. The search is expected to kick off in the coming week.
The new head coach’s main task will be to get Bafana Bafana through World Cup qualifiers for African countries set to start in June.
South Africa has been grouped with Ghana, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. Fixtures and venues are expected in the coming weeks.
The World Cup will be held in November and December 2022 in Qatar.