PSL-Safa spat throws Bafana offside

2013-11-24 14:00

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Coach Gordon Igesund will have a good excuse if he does not win the African Nations Championship, writes  Timothy Molobi

Days after securing a historical victory over top-ranked Spain, Gordon Igesund is in a dilemma.

With six weeks to go before the African Nations Championship kicks off in South Africa, the coach has no team.

This is due to the standoff between the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and the SA Football Association due to the fact that the tournament does not fall within the Fifa calendar.

The league shirked its responsibility and said it will be up to each club to decide whether or not to release their players.

This could easily leave Igesund – who had planned a training camp next month – with a weakened team. This situation is reminiscent of when he took a watered-down team to the Cosafa Challenge in Zambia in July as a result of the club-versus-country situation.

Bafana finished third then. This week, Igesund said he wanted the dispute to be resolved as soon as possible so he could start planning properly.

“I have made it clear that we have a responsibility as a country to field the best available team and I want the best players to play in the tournament,” the coach said.

“Even the players are looking forward to being part of this event but my hands are tied for now and it is beyond my control.”

Teams likely to be affected mostly are Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, who provide the bulk of Bafana players.

Both could account for more than two-thirds of the players with other PSL clubs contributing at least one player each, judging from Igesund’s recent selection (see box).

It has not been laid down as a mandate but Igesund knows there might be repercussions if he fails to lift the trophy.

»?Talk to us:  Should the PSL cancel its fixtures to accommodate CHAN?

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