Parreira forced to change his plans as camp is postponed

BAFANA Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was left eating humble pie after announcing there was "no way" his pre-World Cup camp in Brazil at the beginning of March could be postponed by a week to accommodate the PSL.

BAFANA Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was left eating humble pie after announcing there was "no way" his pre-World Cup camp in Brazil at the beginning of March could be postponed by a week to accommodate the PSL.

Instead, the PSL confirmed yesterday that it had been granted permission by mother body Safa to complete the Premiership programme on March 6 with a full complement of players, including those earmarked for the Brazil camp.

"It was unavoidable," said Ronnie Schloss, the PSL's chief operations officer. "We had hoped to complete our programme by the end of February. But because three of our teams, SuperSport United, Orlando Pirates and Moroka Swallows will be competing in CAF competitions at the end of February, we had no alternative to seeking the extension."

With the PSL championship, relegation and huge financial considerations involved, the decision made a mockery of Parreira's comment that "the World Cup is a priority. Every politician, everyone in South African is aware of that. We finalised the Brazil programme a long time ago and we can't make any changes now".

While the dispute took on all the trappings of an irrepressible force confronted by an immovable object, the issue would seem to have emerged as another case of the right foot not knowing where the left foot was going in the administration of South African soccer.

The question remains why Safa, the PSL and Bafana's technical team had not come up with a solution some time ago - knowing full well that CAF games were earmarked for the last week of February.

Parreira will likely be wringing his hands in frustration, now that he will have to revamp plans with his Brazilian connections that were put into place "a long time ago".

PSL chief executive Leslie Sedibe said they explained the matter to Parreira and "he understood our situation. The PSL are not unreasonable, they have been supportive of Bafana".

On the CAF fixtures, he said: "I flew to Angola to meet CAF, whose secretary-general Mustapha Fahmy said it will not be possible for them to reschedule the games.

"He advised us to speak to the clubs involved, but we could not get to the clubs as their officials are in Angola." - Sapa and Ramatsiyi Moholoa

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