Unknown refs for Bafana games

2013-06-07 13:39

At a time when the spotlight is big on officials in African competitions, two relatively unknown referees have been chosen to take charge of Bafana Bafana’s upcoming Soccer World Cup qualifying games.

According to the Sowetan Live website, Ghanaian William Agbovi – with nine years of international experience – will take charge of Saturday’s clash against the Central African Republic (CAR) in Yaounde.

Forty-three-year-old Egyptian Mohamed Farouk, who is on Fifa’s list of accredited referees, will officiate Bafana Bafana’s key meeting with Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on June 16.

But despite their experience, neither of the referees are from the “A” list of officials on the Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) panel.

A positive for Bafana, though, is that neither has been involved in any major controversies in their careers.

Meanwhile, Bafana’s preparations for Saturday’s game were marred by hiccups.

The match against the CAR was moved to the neutral venue of Yaounde for security reasons owing to the political unrest in CAR.

Then Bafana were forced to travel to Yaounde by bus after their connecting flight from Douala was cancelled upon arrival in Cameroon late on Tuesday afternoon.

Having been made to wait overnight, the team were dealt another blow when their flight on Wednesday afternoon was also cancelled.

Coach Gordon Igesund’s men finally arrived in Yaounde on Wednesday evening, with the coach confident his players will remain focused on the job at hand.

“The fact is that it is not the ideal preparation, but we will not allow it to upset us – what is done is done. We have a responsibility to our country to play this match and we have to be strong,” he said.

Skipper Itumeleng Khune shared his coach’s sentiments.

“Obviously, we are very disappointed, but as professionals we have to get on with it. Fortunately the coach had prepared us well mentally,” said Khune.

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