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Bafana schedule bars Mkhalele from attending CAF course

Steenbok explains why assistant coach had to give licence a miss

Neville Khoza Journalist
Bafana Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele
Bafana Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele
Image: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix Staff

Bafana Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele was the notable absentee during the ongoing CAF A Licence course at Safa this week.

Mkhalele, who is preparing the Bafana team for the first World Cup qualifier against Benin and Rwanda on Saturday at Moses Mabhida Stadium and Rwanda next Tuesday was accepted for the course.

The course started on Monday where 25 accepted coaches are attending including Gavin Hunt, Eric Tinkler, Steve Barker, Boebie Solomons and Tlisane Motaung to mention a few, while ex-players like Godfrey Sapula, Michael Manzini and Jabulani Mendu are also part of it.

Speaking to media yesterday, Safa technical director Walter Steenbok said it was going to be tough for Mkhalele to attend because of the qualifiers and Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in January as they will have a second phase in that month.

“Helman has been accepted for this course. He has a certificate that most of the coaches have between 2010 and 2014. Those certificates don’t have what we call the registration number,” Steenbok explained.

“But they are CAF compliant, so if you check how we structured this course, it was going to be difficult. They got a game against Benin in the World Cup qualifier. They will go to Rwanda and he was going to miss a couple of days for this course.

“And again, we have also pencilled the second phase in January during the Afcon, so he was never going to make it but he was part of this course because he was cleared by CAF.”

Steenbok also added that they would have wanted Mkhalele to be excused from the national team, but that it was up to Bafana coach Hugo Broos to decide.

“He is on the safe side in terms of Afcon but it is not my call. It is a call from the coach. We have put him in the course, it was for him to make a decision,” he said.

“As I said, I’ve responsibility to the ex-professional players, to the PSL coaches and also national team coaches. If you check someone like Monde Hlatshwayo who has been with Basetsana and Bantwana at U-17 level, I have a responsibility to all these guys. That was my target to say, PSL, Motsepe Foundation Championship and look at Hollywoodbets and if I can’t get anything there, we will go down a little bit.

“We made a reservation for him but had to make a call with coach Broos and they felt that he had to stay with him.”

Steenbok also revealed that they will continue to have this course and others in the upcoming years to help the coaches to be equipped.

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