Bafana coach health scare

CityPress - - Sport - TI­MOTHY MOLOBI ti­mothy@city­press.co.za

Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba is re­cu­per­at­ing at home af­ter spend­ing more than a week in hos­pi­tal on the West Rand.

A seem­ingly re­cov­ered Mashaba, who was in high spir­its this week, told City Press that he had been di­ag­nosed with a lung in­fec­tion, which also af­fected his heart­beat.

An up­beat Mashaba, who was a spec­ta­tor at Bidvest Sta­dium when Wits hosted Mamelodi Sun­downs in the mid­dle of the week, said it was all sys­tems go, adding he just needed a few more days to re­cover fully.

“I was trav­el­ling around the coun­try from Bloem­fontein to Cape Town and I could feel some­thing was not right, then I went to con­sult. The doc­tors di­ag­nosed me with an in­fec­tion in the lungs. It also af­fected my heart­beat, but I am okay now. I feel strong now, hence I de­cided to go watch the game,” he said.

Mashaba, who is set to an­nounce the squad that will play Gam­bia on Thurs­day, said he had been given the green light to con­tinue with his du­ties.

Bafana play Gam­bia in the must-win Africa Cup of Na­tions qual­i­fier if it is to sal­vage a slim chance of qual­i­fy­ing for Gabon next year.

The match will take place on June 4 at the In­de­pen­dence Sta­dium in Bakau,

Jor­daan missed the third Fifa Con­gress in a row by not at­tend­ing the 66th Fifa con­gress in Mex­ico City this week.

Safa was rep­re­sented by CEO Den­nis Mum­ble and vice-pres­i­dent Lu­cas Nh­lapo.

The two-day meet­ing was the gov­ern­ing body’s first con­gress presided over by new Fifa pres­i­dent Gianni In­fantino. He was elected in Fe­bru­ary. Items on the agenda in­cluded to bring all 209 mem­ber as­so­ci­a­tions up to speed on cru­cial mat­ters such as the gover­nance re­forms ap­proved by the ex­tra­or­di­nary con­gress in Fe­bru­ary, and the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s plans to en­hance foot­ball devel­op­ment.

Jor­daan did not pick up his phone when called for com­ment, nor did he re­spond to the SMS sent to him.

Safa spokesper­son Do­minic Chimhavi said he was also strug­gling to lo­cate his pres­i­dent.

Jor­daan has not at­tended any Fifa gath­er­ing since the US At­tor­ney-Gen­eral iden­ti­fied two South Africans as co­con­spir­a­tors in the 2010 World Cup bribery al­le­ga­tions in May last year.

To date, he has not at­tended three im­por­tant gath­er­ings of the world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body. Jor­daan‚ who is the ex­ec­u­tive mayor of Nel­son Man­dela Bay, has al­ways cited his busy sched­ule at the mu­nic­i­pal­ity as his rea­son for not at­tend­ing the events.

Last year, he missed the Fifa elec­tive con­gress, where for­mer pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter was re-elected.

Ear­lier this year, he missed the Fifa Bal­lon d’Or awards in Zurich.

In Fe­bru­ary, he was ab­sent from the spe­cial con­gress dur­ing which In­fantino was elevated to the po­si­tion of pres­i­dent of the world foot­ball gov­ern­ing body.

Safa was rep­re­sented by Mum­ble and ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber Anas­ta­sia Tsich­las, who cast the vote on be­half of the as­so­ci­a­tion.

Jor­daan had ear­lier at­tended the CAF Con­gress in Ki­gali, Rwanda, at the end of Fe­bru­ary.

His no-show at Fifa events has raised eye­brows, and the op­po­si­tion DA is of­ten on his case for not at­tend­ing to foot­ball mat­ters.

65th Fifa Con­gress

– Zurich (May 2015)

– Zurich (Jan­uary 2016)

Fifa Bal­lon d’Or Fifa ex­tra­or­di­nary con­gress

– Zurich (Fe­bru­ary 2016)

66th Fifa Con­gress

– Mex­ico City (May 2016) Gam­bia. Kick­off is at 7pm South African time.

The two coun­tries played to a goal­less draw in the open­ing en­counter of the qual­i­fiers in Dur­ban last year.

Bafana played back-to-back draws against Cameroon in March.

They must garner the six points on of­fer and hope for a mir­a­cle to book a place at the fi­nals in Gabon in Jan­uary.

With two more rounds to play, Bafana cur­rently lie third on the ta­ble with three points af­ter four matches.

Cameroon top Group M with eight, fol­lowed by Mau­ri­ta­nia on seven. Gam­bia are at the bot­tom with two.

Bafana host Mau­ri­ta­nia in their last game of the qual­i­fiers in Septem­ber.

PHOTO: TREVOR KUNENE

RE­COV­ER­ING Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba spent a week in hos­pi­tal

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