Rhoo’s advice to Bafana was spot on as Zim’s Warriors are disqualified from Afcon qualifiers

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Lucas “Rhoo” Radebe advised South Africa to prepare as normal based on a four-team group set-up. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Lucas “Rhoo” Radebe advised South Africa to prepare as normal based on a four-team group set-up. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

SPORT


When the draw for next year’s Afcon qualifying groups was conducted last month, Zimbabwe’s participation was dependent on a ban by Fifa being overturned.

When the draw was conducted in Johannesburg, former Bafana Bafana legend Lucas “Rhoo” Radebe advised South Africa to prepare as normal based on a four-team group set-up.

Now Bafana’s chances of qualifying for the Afcon finals, to be hosted by Côte d’Ivoire, were enhanced significantly after CAF confirmed on Monday that Zimbabwe and Kenya had been disqualified.

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CAF originally included the two nations in the official draw in the hope that their problems would have been resolved before qualifiers started on June 1.

Zimbabwe were in Group K with South Africa, Morocco and Liberia while Kenya were pitted against Burundi, Cameroon and Namibi in Group C.

“We must prepare ourselves as if we have got four teams in the group. That’s how it is supposed to be. Forget about what happens, whether Kenya or Zim [are there or not]. We just need to prepare the best way we can. It’s a good group,” said Radebe on the sidelines of the draw in Sandton on April 19.

He added: 

No disrespect to Zimbabwe and Liberia because they’ll be tricky as well. We just need to prepare the best way we can.

Zimbabwe’s disqualification means Bafana will now qualify if they beat Liberia home and away and get at least a point from the group’s toughest opponents and World Cup-bound Morocco.

Kenya and Zimbabwe were suspended by Fifa due to political interference in the affairs of both associations. CAF said in a statement on Monday that the two nations had not yet met the criteria required by the Fifa congress as a prerequisite for lifting their suspensions.

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As a result, CAF said the two teams would be “considered losers and eliminated from the competition”.

“Groups C and K will be composed only of three teams and the order of the matches will be maintained under the match schedule that has been communicated to the teams after the draw,” said the statement.

The first and runner-up teams of those groups will qualify to the final tournament.

Bafana head coach Hugo Broos will announce the squad on Thursday.

South Africa open the campaign against Morocco on June 9.


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