Molefi Ntseki looking for Bafana Bafana players to climb Afcon mountain
CAPE TOWN - While most Premier Soccer League players are caught up in the evolving end-of-season drama around the Premiership title, the relegation battle and top eight qualification, a few will be thinking about pressing claims for national team selection in the light of recent Bafana Bafana announcements.
Bafana Bafana will be in action in just over a month’s time after the protracted coronavirus pandemic enforced break.
Coach Molefi Ntseki cannot be too sure about the make-up of his squad because of the unscheduled break.
There will be matches on October 7 and 11, and these will serve as warm-up fixtures for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) Cameroon 2021 qualifier against São Tomé and Príncipe, a central African island country.
The South African Football Association (Safa) said in a statement that the coach will name the opponents for the warm-up matches at a later date.
“After the October Fifa window period, Bafana Bafana will take on São Tomé on 13 November at FNB Stadium before travelling to the island for the return game on 16 November 2020,” the statement continues.
“Bafana Bafana will round off their Afcon qualifiers in March next year.
“First, there is a home game against Ghana and then end their campaign with an away match to Sudan.”
The October Fifa window period has posed a problem for the PSL, who were planning the start of the new season around that time.
After Safa’s announcement, PSL chairman Irvin Khoza said a new date would be set for the start of 2020/21 season.
Good news from the Bafana Bafana camp is that Dean Furman, who recently joined English League Two outfit Carlisle United, will continue to be available for the national team.
Ntseki said that former SuperSport United skipper Furman, who has been capped 56 times for Bafana, will remain vice-captain of the team.
Bafana Bafana have a mountain to climb in their remaining Afcon Group C qualifying matches. They are trailing group paces-setters Ghana by three points and have four games left to secure passage to Cameroon.
Safa also announced that the ABC Motsepe League matches will be played during the month of October.
The leading regional teams will participate in the national play-offs in Gauteng from November 9-15. The two finalists will be promoted to the GladAfrica Championship, or National First Division.