30 days to World Cup: Deadline for final 30-man squads today

2010-05-11 00:00

THERE is exactly one month to go until the 2010 Fifa World Cup kicks off on June 11, with hosts South Africa taking on Mexico at Soccer City.

Danny Jordaan and the Local Organising Committee appear to have pulled it off, so far. The last month before the tournament begins should be enough time for South Africa to complete its preparations as host of the world’s greatest sporting event.

For players and managers, though, this could prove to be a difficult time.

Today will see all of the preliminary squads in the tournament reduced to no more than 30 players as teams adhere to the Fifa imposed deadline.

Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira will be one manager to suffer a few headaches when finalising his preliminary squad of 30 today. There are still concerns over the fitness of World Cup favourite and SuperSport United defender Morgan Gould, who has struggled with an ankle injury he picked up last month.

Bafana captain Aaron Mokoena is another injury concern for Parreira. The holding midfielder/central defender remains a doubt for Portsmouth’s FA Cup final against Chelsea on May 15.

England coach Fabio Capello, on the other hand, received some good news yesterday when a statement released by Manchester Uni­ted underplayed the extent of the groin injury that saw Wayne Rooney substituted against Stoke on Sunday.

Capello does, however, have the injuries of Ledley King and Rio Ferdinand to consider before submitting his list of 30 names to Fifa. King’s long term knee injury means he is unable to train in between matches, while Ferdinand has been plagued by injury all season.

World Cup favourites Spain have three of their key players on the injured list. Fer­nando Torres, Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas will all be included in the 30-man squad, while manager Vi­cente del Bosque will hope for their speedy recovery.

Hopefuls who fail to make the preliminary squads by the end of today will sadly not make it to the World Cup.

In a surprise move, Bafana’s team manager Sipho Nkumane and Safa commercial director Victor Nosi have been suspended pending the outcome of disciplinary proceedings.

Safa would give no further information on the hearing, although it added that long-time administrator Dennis Mumble would assume the role of acting team manager.

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