The South African Football Association (Safa) moved swiftly to appoint Molefi Ntseki as Bafana Bafana head coach in August after the resignation of Englishman Stuart Baxter but it emerged this week that Ntseki has been taken for a big ride, working without a contract.
Ntseki, then national Under-17 team coach, had to fill the post hastily as interim coach and was later given the job on a full-time basis as Bafana had two crucial 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan.
After the cancellation of the Zambia and Madagascar friendlies, Ntseki was in charge when Bafana beat Mali 1-0 in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Port Elizabeth in October.
The Bafana tactician then took the team to their 2021 Nations Cup qualifying campaign, losing 2-0 away to Ghana, then beating Sudan 1-0 at home early last month. Strangely, he had no contract and worked under the conditions of the old nation- a l U-17 team.
After an outcry following revel at ions that Ntseki had no contract in place, Safa acting CEO Gay Mokoena this week hastily met with Ntseki’s agent Thato Matuka, to resolve, the matter.
Safa spokesman Dominic Chimhavi yesterday told Sunday World that the delay was as a result of protracted negotiations between Safa and the coach’s agent.
“Don’t forget, this is a big contract. The three parties – Safa, the coach [Ntseki] and his agent [Matuka] – have been negotiating
the terms all this time and trying to get the best possible deal for all,” said Chimhavi.
“We have been engaging the coach’s agent, it is not a case that we wanted to delay matters. We had to sort out and agree on the financial terms.”
When asked why Safa appointed a coach without a contract in place, Chimhavi said it was the same case with Baxter.
Ntseki, who will be the Bafana coach until the World Cup in Qatar in 2022, said he was happy the matter had been resolved.
“The delay was caused when the CEO [Russell Paul] had to leave for Qatar and there was no one to continue with the negotiations until the appointment of the new CEO [Mokoena]. That is how my agent explained this whole thing to me.”
By Xolile Mtshazo