Covid prevents travel by overseas players to meet Ghana

Bafana vow to do it for absent player

Thulani Hlatshwayo (captain) of Bafana Bafana during the South African national mens soccer team arrival media briefing at Hilton Hotel on March 22, 2021 in Johannesburg,
Thulani Hlatshwayo (captain) of Bafana Bafana during the South African national mens soccer team arrival media briefing at Hilton Hotel on March 22, 2021 in Johannesburg,
Image: Sydney Seshibedi

Despite the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Bafana Bafana stars Thulani Hlatshwayo and Ronwen Williams are determined to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon next year.

Several Bafana stars will miss the crucial Group C game against Ghana at the FNB Stadium on Thursday (6pm) due to the Covid-19 travel restrictions.

However, the pair wants to win the game for their teammates who could not travel for the big match against the Black Stars of Ghana. SA players who will absent for the match are Keagan Dolly, (Montpellier FC, France), Dean Furman (Carlisle United, England), Luther Singh (Paços de Ferreira, Portugal), Lyle Foster ((Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal)), Thibang Phete (OS Belenenses SAD, Portugal), Siyanda Xulu (Hapoel Tel Aviv, Israel), Thulani Serero (Al Jazira FC, Abu Dhabi), Bongani Zungu and (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland). 

Hlatshwayo, however, said the mood was high in the camp. 

SuperSport United goalkeeper Williams said they would do it for the unavailable stars.

"We are disappointed as the players. We have lost some of our soldiers now due to the travel challenges, but the players coming in need to step in and fill in the gap. It is not going to be easy, but we will do it for them. We have a short time to prepare before the match. However, the preparations started a long time ago when the technical team sent us the information about the opposition a long time ago. We already know our game plan and know how Ghana and Sudan play," said Williams at a press conference in Joburg yesterday.

Williams said they would help the new players to settle into the squad and make them understand the magnitude of the two games.

“We know what we want to achieve as a team. It is not going to be easy, but it is a challenge that we are looking forward and we are confident of winning both games. We are disappointed that the guys are not here, but we will do it for them," said Williams.

Skipper Hlatshwayo added the players in camp are disappointed, but want to win for their hurting teammates.

“Some of the missing players have been with Bafana for a long time and are a core of the team. However, no one is guaranteed a place in the team. The players here are capable of going the job. We have to do well and do it for our country," added Hlatshwayo.

The final group game is away in Sudan on Sunday at 6pm.

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