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But Birds-Chiefs' stars won't feature

By unknown | Sep 27, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sello Rabothata

Sello Rabothata

Bafana Bafana will play Botswana in the semifinals of the Cosafa Castle Cup after all.

Though kicking and screaming all week long, sanity eventually prevailed as the national team's technical staff yesterday finally bowed to the facts and agreed they will take part in the event scheduled for Super Stadium in Atteridgeville on Saturday.

Bafana Bafana media officer Sifiso Cele yesterday said: "The fact that we are in camp should clear the air. We are playing."

It had been a week of accusations and counter-accusations with mud being slung from one corner to the other as the Premier Soccer League dug it's heels in saying it would not interfere with the Telkom Knockout eliminator between rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows on the same day.

The Naturena side has four players, goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, Mokete Tsotetsi, Siphiwe Tshabalala and Jimmy Tau called up for the game. Coach Muhsin Ertugral announced immediately thereafter that he would not release the players as he needed them for his team's game the same day.

The other teams that were affected were Lamontville Golden Arrows who requested that their players only join the camp after their match against Mamelodi Sundowns and that was granted.

And yesterday the league's general manager: football Andrew Dipela announced that the Bafana camp has also accepted an offer to have the Ajax Cape Town versus Free State Stars game scheduled for tomorrow evening postponed to next Thursday to enable the Urban Warriors' players to join the camp.

"But, there is nothing we can do about the Chiefs/Swallows match. We were only able to switch it to the evening on the same day. We have television rights and obligations to protect and honour, and that applies here," Dipela said.

By 4pm yesterday afternoon only seven players had reported for camp while the two Arrows players were to join up later. Those from Ajax are expected to be in camp at least this morning. Pirates' Lebogang Mokoena reported but was found to be injured and left camp.


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