Ntseki plans for Bafana Bafana to be back in action in October
Bafana Bafana will return to action in October if coach Molefi Ntseki can succeed in his plan to arrange two friendlies for that month‚ ahead of the revised 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe that are now set for November.
Ntseki is trying to organise two friendlies to get his team back to action on October 5 to 13‚ ahead of the matches against Sao Tome in November‚ the SA Football Association (Safa) has said in a statement.
The 2021 Nations Cup in Cameroon was postponed due tio Covid-19 by Caf from January and February 2021 to January and February 2022‚ and is now referred to as the 2022 Africa cup of Nations.
Caf's revised calendar for the qualifiers sees Match Day 3 and 4 (for South Africa‚ their back-to back home then away games against Sao Tome) taking place on November 9 to 17.
These games had initially been scheduled for FNB Stadium on March 27 this year‚ and in Sao Tome on March 31‚ but postponed as Caf suspended games across the continent due to Covid-19.
Afcon 2021's Match Day 5 and 6 (for South Africa their home fixture against Ghana and away match against Sudan) are now to be played on March 22 to 30‚ 2021.
Safa's statement read: "Bafana Bafana will be back in competitive football in November and will complete their qualifiers for the Total Africa Cup of Nations Cameroon 2021 in March next year. The AFCON qualification campaign was suspended in March this year due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
"Before hosting and travelling to Sao Tome and Principe‚ Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki is organising two friendly matches between 5-13 October to get his charges ready for battle.
" ... After the Sao Tome back-to-back qualifiers‚ Bafana Bafana will be back in competitive action between 22-30 March 2021 when they host Ghana in the penultimate qualifier before travelling to Sudan for the final encounter of the qualification matches."
Ntseki was quoted as saying: “I am trying to arrange two friendly matches in October to prepare for the two Sao Tome matches in November.”
Bafana‚ on three points from a 2-0 away defeat against Ghana and 1-0 home win against Sudan‚ are second in Group C to Ghana‚ who have six points.
With the top two teams qualifying‚ wins home and away against Sao Tome would see Bafana take a major step towards qualifaction for Cameroon 2021.
Safa's statement further said that new acting technical director Frans Mogashoa‚ who was appointed his month after previous incumbent Neil Tovey did not renew his contract at the end of June‚ will meet all the national team coaches in a meeting‚ though did not specify the date.
It further stated that: "SAFA has also written a letter to the government requesting that amateur football should start to officially play on Level 2."