Safa submits 29-man squad

2010-05-12 00:00

THE South African Football Association (Safa) yesterday submitted a 29-man provisional squad to Fifa for the World Cup, which kicks off in a month’s time.

There were no changes in the 29 from the squad that was selected by coach Carlos Alberto Parreira to begin Bafana’s final training camp for the World Cup at Wits University in Johannesburg, which began on May 5.

All 32 30-man provisional squads had to be submitted to Fifa by a 12 pm deadline yesterday. The final 23-man squads, which have to be selected from the 30 names handed in by yesterday, must be handed to Fifa by June 1, 10 days before the World Cup kickoff between South Africa and Mexico at Soccer City on June 11.

Parreira’s 29-man squad consists of 10 foreign-based and 19 local-based players. The bulk of the squad has begun training at Wits, with the foreign-based players due to arrive as their European seasons come to an end.

Striker Bernard Parker of Dutch League champions FC Twente was one of the first overseas players to arrive.

Arminia Bielefeld goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez arrived from Germany, where the league season concluded this past weekend, on Monday night and underwent a series of medical tests. Fernandez has been out with an ankle injury for two months though believes he can be back in time for the World Cup, and would make an experienced third-choice ’keeper after Itumeleng Khune and Moeneeb Josephs.

Defender Morgan Gould was the only player who might have been expected to be added to Parreira’s 29, but the word is the SuperSport United defender’s injury is serious enough to keep him out of action until after the World Cup.

“Trimming down the squad [to 23] is not the ideal situation but it’s something that has to be done,” Parreira said.

“We can’t take any number we want and we have to make decisions which are always difficult.

“It doesn’t mean the players that will be left out are not good enough, but me and my technical team took a long time discussing this list carefully.”

The 29 players will have three friendlies in which to prove they are worthy of making the last 23.

On Sunday, Bafana play Thailand in the opening match of the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit with what is likely to still be a predominantly local-based side. Matches against Bulgaria (May 24) and Columbia (May 27) are expected to feature full-strength teams. South Africa play a final warm-up against Denmark at Soccer City on June 5, though Parreira is still hoping an on-off match against Argentina can still be arranged.

BAFANA SQUAD:

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Shu-Aib Walters (Maritzburg United), Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany)

Defenders: Matthew Booth, Siboniso Gaxa, Innocent Mdledle (all Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth, England), Bryce Moon (PAOK, Greece), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk, Belgium), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders: Surprise Moriri, Franklin Cale (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham, England), Andile Jali, Teko Modise (both Orlando Pirates), Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala (both Kaizer Chiefs), Thanduyise Khuboni (Golden Arrows), Steven Pienaar (Everton, England), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan, Russia)

Strikers: Benni McCarthy (West Ham, England), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Nomvete (Moroka Swallows), Bernard Parker (FC Twente, Netherlands)

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