Safa wants to avoid any Afcon blunders

The national executive committee (NEC) of the South African Football Association (Safa) has outlined plans for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana next year.

The national executive committee (NEC) of the South African Football Association (Safa) has outlined plans for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ghana next year.

In a meeting held in Durban on Saturday, the NEC resolved to embark on a plan that will ensure maximum support for Bafana Bafana in the tournament.

The first phase of the plan started with the appointment of three NEC members to support their colleague and head of dele- gation Mandla Mazibuko.

The three members are Safa vice president Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, Obakeng Molatedi and Vernon Seymour. Molatedi is the assistant head of delegation while Nonkonyana and Seymour will play an oversight role.

The NEC also resolved to finalise a document that outlines the team's code of conduct, dress code and players' bonuses by next week. The document will be discussed with the relevant stakeholders, namely the technical team and players.

Once adopted the document will be attached to the players' call-up letters. The initiative is one mechanism of ensuring that the players' needs are considered before the call-up letters are sent and contracts signed.

Safa president Molefi Oliphant said the Association can't afford to have any disputes with players before a major tournament.

"We have resolved, as the NEC, to proactively address issues that might affect the team's performance well in advance," said Oliphant.

National coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has called 22 South African-based players for a two-day camp that culminates in a training match against Lesotho at the Germiston Stadium tomorrow at 8.10pm.

Parreira describes this game as a very important match and says it will provide a great opportunity to all selected players to showcase what they are made off at senior national team level.

"This training match against Lesotho is the last of three games that will be used to help us finalise the squad of players that we will take to the African Cup of Nations in Ghana in January 2008. The games that we have already used for that include those against USA and Canada. We have been using 2007 as a year to identify players for the senior national team and that process is continuing with this match against Lesotho.

"We have watched all the players that have been called up for this game at their clubs, but we now need to give them a chance and watch them at this level of the national team. This is therefore an important game for us as a national team," said Parreira.

Tickets went on sale yesterday at Computicket at R20 for the grass area and R30 for the main pavilion of this 18000 capacity stadium.

l The match will also be broadcast live on SABC.

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