Bafana Bafana are likely to play World Cup-bound Iran to plug the gap left in South Africa’s Afcon qualifying group by the suspension of Zimbabwe by Fifa from the latest continental championships qualifiers.
South Africa start their qualifying campaign against Morocco in Rabat next Thursday, and Bafana were supposed to have met the Zimbabwean Warriors at FNB Stadium four days later.
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Bafana coach Hugo Broos hinted on Wednesday that he had received offers for friendly matches since the end of last month, but the extension of the PSL season stood in the way.
“We had some offers before from the end of May from Iraq, from Brazil, [but] it was impossible. I didn’t have players because there were still some league games [in progress] and cup games [Nedbank Cup], which is something that doesn’t happen in other countries,” said an irritated Broos at Bafana’s first training session ahead of the Morocco clash.
“There is a big chance that we can play on the 13th [of June] against Iran, maybe in Doha because we’ll travel from Morocco via Doha and on our way back we can stay a few days there and play”.
“It’s not definitive, but if it’s like that, it should be a very good thing for us for [game time].”
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Broos also revealed that Namibia were keen for a friendly, as well as Algeria, but the north African country wanted Bafana to travel to it.
“I hope this game against Iran can be done.”
Bafana leave for Rabat on Saturday evening.
Meanwhile, Morocco lost to USA 3-0 in a friendly on Wednesday.
Broos said his technical team had already done analysis on the Moroccans, whom he described as the best team in Bafana’s group, which also has Liberia.
The veteran Belgian described the latest mission as a new chapter after the heartbreak of falling short in the World Cup qualifiers last year.
“For me, it was a success with a disappointing end. We had success because we had a new, young team [with] inexperienced [players], but we won four in six games.”
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South Africa finished equal on points with Ghana on the road to the Qatar World Cup, but the Black Stars progressed to the play-offs because they had one goal more than Bafana – the disputed penalty that Ghana netted in their final group clash in November.”
“We had 13 points, and, with little research, in the past 10 to 12 years South Africa has never had 13 points in all the Afcon qualifiers. The maximum is 12. So that means it was not so bad what we did. And still, after our match against Ghana, there were critics. I didn’t understand it. And it was worse after our friendly games against Guinea and France.”
“I don’t know why suddenly there were some critics, and I can assure you that those critics don’t affect me. But they are short-sighted ... and cheap,” lashed Broos during a media conference at the Sturrock Park grounds at Wits University in Johannesburg on Wednesday.