What good will Poland match be for Bafana?

2012-10-06 18:53

Playing insignificant friendlies against low-ranked countries affects world rankings.

This week’s Fifa rankings once again proved that playing insignificant friendlies against low-ranked countries affect world rankings.

This is clearly indicated in the case of five-time world champions Brazil, who dropped two places to 14, even after beating South Africa and China last month.

Bafana’s 2-0 victory over Mozambique also went unnoticed as they also dropped two places, to 76.

On Friday, Bafana Bafana will play Poland in another insignificant match.

The fact that the two teams’ coaches, Gordon Igesund and Waldemar Fornalik, had reservations about each other’s strength was proof enough that this game should never have been scheduled.

Poland is preparing for a tough World Cup qualifier against England next Tuesday, while Bafana are fine-tuning themselves for next year’s
Africa Cup of Nations.

But contractual obligations had to be honoured, according to Safa chief executive Robin Petersen.

“We had a contract with Poland that I inherited when I came into office which had to be honoured. We even asked if we could move the game and they declined because there was already a contract on the table,” he said.

It would be even worse for Bafana – they have lined up low-ranked Kenya four days later in Nairobi.

The new Bafana coach had initially voiced his reservations about playing Poland, arguing that it would not adequately prepare his team for next year’s Afcon.

And Igesund would have preferred a tougher African opponent, rather than facing Kenya, ranked 128th, next Tuesday.

This is because top African teams will be engaged in the final round of Afcon qualifications, so Igesund was forced to settle for the Harambee Stars, hardly an ideal preparation.

While Fornalik is likely to rest his key players to avoid unnecessary injuries before the important clash against England, Igesund is still trying different combinations, after only two games in charge.

New Bafana skipper Bongani Khumalo, who led the team against Brazil and Mozambique last month, will have to be at his best to stop Poland’s danger man, Robert Lewandowski, the striker who plays for Borrusia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga.

The big question is: What will either team benefit from this game?

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