R4m keeps team on ball

2011-11-13 07:34

The South African Football Association (Safa) is sparing no costs to ensure that the national Under-23 squad qualifies for the Olympics in London next year.

Safa CEO Dr Robin Petersen told City Press yesterday that the organisation was spending a whopping R4 million for camping, the two friendly matches in Algeria and the qualifying tournament in Morocco.

“We are investing as much as we can as we want to give the team all the support they need not only to qualify for the Olympic Games but to do well at the tournament,” said Petersen. “We also chose Algeria as it is close to Morocco where the tournament will be held so that our players get used to the conditions.”

Some savings could have been made if the squad was to remain in North Africa until after the eight-nation tournament in Morocco, which runs from November 26 to December 10.

However, the club versus country battle has resulted in almost the entire team having to return to South Africa immediately after the second leg of their friendly game against Algeria on Thursday.

A total of 14 players are expected to jet back to honour their respective clubs’ league fixtures next weekend with the exception of Kaizer Chiefs’ Mandla Masango and Moroka Swallows goalkeeper Sage Lottering.

The Under-23 technical staff, including Mashaba, will also remain in North Africa.

“I won’t have a team to train as almost everybody is wanted back by their clubs, so we’ll see who comes back,” said Mashaba before the team’s departure this week.

Swallows coach Gordon Igesund said they have assured Mashaba that he can keep the club’s reserve goalkeeper Lottering, adding that the Birds would only recall the player “if there is an emergency”.

Kaizer Chiefs manager Bobby Motaung said: “Mandla has just recovered from injury and he is currently not in the (Chiefs) playing team. So if the country needs him, the coach can have him,” said Motaung.

Mpumalanga Black Aces ­co-director Mario Morfou said: “We have already five of our players in the under-20s (for Cosafa Cup camp) and the agreement with the under-23s is to have our two players back from Algeria.”

The tournament in Morocco does not fall under the Fifa calendar and there is hope that a consensus will be reached between Safa and PSL at a meeting that has been scheduled for Tuesday.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.