Safa CEO Russell Paul and Stuart Baxter at Friday's press conference. Photo: @BafanaBafana on twitter

JOHANNESBURG - In a highly anticipated announcement at a press conference in Johannesburg on Friday morning, national soccer head coach Stuart Baxter said that he was stepping down from his position with immediate effect.

The press conference was initially arranged by the coach's agent Steven Kapuleschnik, sans Safa, but in a surprise move, Safa acting CEO Russell Paul took his seat next to Baxter this morning. 

The 65-year old Englishman said he felt compelled to move on as Bafana would be moving on into a new cycle that included the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup Qualifiers.

"It was my personal decision," said Baxter. "Someone should continue with this project and therefore I am resigning as Bafana Bafana coach."

This was Baxter second coaching spell with the national team, after he also led Bafana in 2004.

The Englishman had been in the middle of a 5-year contract after his appointment in 2017 when he resigned, leading to speculation of a substantial payout.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Sport Staff