A missed opportunity: Shakes slams Bafana's Afcon plans

Ben Motshwari controls the ball during Bafana Bafana's training session at Steyn City School, Johannesburg, this week while other teams were playing the Cosafa Cup in Durban.
Ben Motshwari controls the ball during Bafana Bafana's training session at Steyn City School, Johannesburg, this week while other teams were playing the Cosafa Cup in Durban.
Image: Lefty Shivambu /Gallo Images

Former Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba says it was a big blunder not to use the Cosafa Cup as preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).

Bafana's preparations for the Afcon have hit a snag as the team has been unable to secure friendlies.

Rather than use the Cosafa tournament that has been going on for the past week in Durban, to get the players into rhythm, an odd decision was made to send the junior under-23 team coached by David Notoane.

Mashaba feels that this was a missed opportunity.

"Bafana should have gone there to play the Cosafa and win it convincingly to gain some confidence for the Afcon," Mashaba told Sowetan.

"That was the perfect platform to use to gather momentum and go to Egypt knowing that we are the champions of our region. We had this Cosafa stage to use, but we wasted it.

"Other nations like Zimbabwe are using the tournament to prepare... why didn't we do the same?"

SA's shambolic training camp in Fourways will end with the final 23-man squad being announced on Sunday.

Safa are scrambling to organise a friendly with one of the losing teams at the Cosafa tournament on Saturday. Stuart Baxter said if the friendly does not materialise then the team will play a match among themselves.

"For Baxter to say they are hoping that one of the losing teams from Cosafa come to Joburg to play a friendly with them shows a lack of planning from our side. That's an embarrassing and unacceptable situation," the 68-year-old bemoaned.

Nevertheless, the patriotic Mashaba wished the team the best of luck at the continental competition starting June 21.

"The boys must go out there and not be afraid of this thing of 'Group of Death'. We must go out there to compete and deliver the results."

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