Baxter defends his players over Seychelles beach photos
A lot of South Africans took to Twitter to voice their frustration with the team’s performance against a side they were expected to walk all over.
A lot of South Africans took to Twitter to voice their frustration with the team’s performance against a side they were expected to walk all over and it wasn’t just their performance that the team was criticised for.
The official Bafana account on Twitter tweeted photos of the players relaxing and in good spirits on the beach the day before the match against the island nation and then when Tuesday’s result came out, the photos were revisited, with angry fans using them against the team.
Relaxing ahead of the big game here in Seychelles. Bafana Bafana play Seychelles on Tuesday at 15h30 pic.twitter.com/tvjItwOyeN— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) October 15, 2018
The boys were taking some time out on the beach on their rest day, but the tweeting of the photos still didn’t sit well with many, regardless of it being a day for the team to wind down.
While the Seychelles team was busy training, Bafana Bafana was having a "rest day" on the beach, then they wonder why they lost?!? 🤔😐— Precious Shange (@PreciousShange) October 17, 2018
Bafana Bafana went to Seychelles to swim not to present South Africa 😏 pic.twitter.com/T66rwZCwbC— Paul Gabriel (@PaulGab29357184) October 17, 2018
Stuart Baxter says the boys being on the beach on the eve of an important Afcon qualifier shouldn’t be blown out of proportion.
“Well, I think every hotel of any quality in the Seychelles is on the beach, so if the lads go for a walk, they walk straight onto the beach. I don’t think that’s to be exaggerated. Maybe their choice and their judgement are not the best in that case of the timing but I would definitely say that would’ve been in a moment where they were in between meetings and trainings and they just go for a little walk outside the hotel because we were literally right on the beach.”
The last time Bafana failed to qualify for a major tournament, they were stunned by a so-called small nation, twice. It was last year, in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and it was the Cape Verde Islands that embarrassed Baxter and his side. Although South Africa’s fate of qualifying still rests in their own hands, its such results that leave the country unhinged.
The team is up against Group E leaders Nigeria in the penultimate match of the qualifiers at the FNB Stadium on 17 November, needing victory there to book their ticket to the Afcon in Cameroon next year.