Mokoena cleared to lead Bafana

Aaron Mokoena © Sowetan
Aaron Mokoena © Sowetan

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Bafana Bafana breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after captain Aaron "Mbazo" Mokoena was cleared to lead the team at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.

This was after Mokoena was carried off on a stretcher after a hard tackle by Botswana's Dipsy Selolwane in their international friendly in Durban on Wednesday night.

Selolwane was sent off after the incident in a match Bafana Bafana won 2-1.

"We are quite happy that the medical personnel have cleared Mbazo, he is going with us to Ghana on Saturday [tomorrow]," said Shoes Mazibuko, South Africa's head of delegation.

Ephraim Nematswerani, the team's doctor, said: "Mbazo is fine after getting a knock, it was not that serious. We pulled him off as a precautionary measure."

Sipho Nkumane, Bafana Bafana manager, said they were looking forward to doing well in Ghana.

"We have completed our preparations at home and everybody is ready for the tournament. We promise South Africans that we will make them proud. We are under pressure because the whole world is focusing on us as the hosts of the 2010 World Cup."

The Bafana Bafana players were given yesterday and today off to attend to personal matters before leaving for Ghana.

In other friendlies, Morocco defeated Angola 2-1 in their final warmup match in Rabat, while Senegal beat Benin in Burkina Faso by the same margin. Angola and Senegal are in the same group as South Africa, along with Tunisia.