Bafana Bafana

Covid-19 being used as an excuse for teams not wanting to come to SA - SAFA CEO

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
in charge Tebogo Motlanthe is the new CEO of Safa PHOTO: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images
in charge Tebogo Motlanthe is the new CEO of Safa PHOTO: Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images
  • South African Football Association chief executive officer Tebogo Motlanthe said Covid-19 has been used unfairly by teams who don't want to host SA teams or travel to SA.
  • This came after rumours surfaced of Ghana not wanting to travel to South Africa to honour their March 25 African Cup of Nations Group C qualifier against Bafana Bafana.
  • Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs were also on the receiving end of match cancellation, but those fixtures have taken place on neutral turf.

South African Football Association (SAFA) chief executive Tebogo Motlanthe said the Covid-19 pandemic is being unfairly used as an excuse for teams who either don’t want to travel to South Africa or host South African teams for CAF games. 

This came after rumours surfaced of Ghana not wanting to honour African Cup of Nations Group C encounter against South Africa that will take place at the FNB Stadium on March 25. 

Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs were also on the receiving end of late CAF Champions League cancellations for games that were scheduled to take place in Algeria and Morocco respectively. 

Those matches ended up taking place in Dar-es-Salaam and Ouagadougou respectively. Safa, through their CEO, had put their foot firmly down with regards to those Champions League games taking place. 

Motlanthe said some of the arguments put up by the countries not wanting to host SA teams haven’t been substantial. 

"All these teams' arguments are based on media reports. We told them if there's no scientific research, there's no debate and we find it strange that Covid-19 matters are used against this country," Motlanthe said. 

"If you look at Covid-19 numbers in Africa, we are followed by Morocco and Ghana. It never made sense. We never panicked when there were rumours of this game being played at a neutral venue."

"That's why we refused to allow our clubs to play in neutral territory. If Morocco decide we don't want South Africa at home, the duty falls squarely on the other team to arrange a venue.

"When there’s a failure to do so, we asked CAF to apply the rules and regulations. We think it is unfairly used, we’ve addressed it at the right problem and I don’t think it’ll be a problem for us."

Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki's planning has also been wrecked by the pandemic as he has to pick a majority locally-based team.  

Ntseki has been able to get most of his stars, but said he was also confused by South Africa’s Covid-19 acquired pariah status. 

"Covid is affecting all of us and when I spoke to Dean Furman, he was telling me about the 10-day quarantine period at the hotel when you come back from South Africa," said Ntseki

"Everyone looks at South Africa as the most toxic Covid-19 country in the world and we don't really know why."

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What is your favourite sport to watch on TV?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
40% - 14077 votes
13% - 4369 votes
19% - 6544 votes
3% - 902 votes
1% - 340 votes
2% - 809 votes
5% - 1762 votes
9% - 2971 votes
3% - 1218 votes
Water sports
1% - 320 votes
American sports
1% - 433 votes
3% - 1167 votes