The English mentor would have liked to prove that South Africa could qualify for the competition without hosting it.
Baxter, however, added that it would be bittersweet for South Africa to accept the offer from the Confederation of Africa Football (Caf) to host the 2019 Afcon.
“You don’t want to sort of turn off the competitive nature of the Libya game because someone’s suddenly give you a free pass‚” Baxter told TimesLive on Tuesday.
“So for me‚ I would say it [hosting] would be great because our strategy was that the players need to take part in a major tournament as a part of their development. But I also don’t want to turn off the competitive nature of the players to go there [to play Libya away‚ probably in Tunisia] in a situation with a knife at their throats and actually get the result that they need.
Second-placed Bafana need a point against Libya in March in order to qualify for next year’s Afcon.