Ige­sund’s Bafana sham­bles

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

BAFANA BAFANA have been dealt an­other blow with four more play­ers with­draw­ing from the national squad to take part in the Cosafa Cup tour­na­ment in Zam­bia.

The fresh al­ter­ations to the squad mean coach Gor­don Ige­sund has had to make a to­tal of 13 changes to the orig­i­nal list of 20 play­ers se­lected to do duty at the south­ern re­gion tour­na­ment.

They open their cam­paign in a quar­ter-fi­nal fix­ture next week­end.

Musa Bi­lankulu of Wits was re­placed by Plat­inum Stars cap­tain Vuyo Mere yes­ter­day, Lance Davids from Ajax Cape Town made way for Ed­ward Man­qele of Mamelodi Sun­downs, Kaizer Chiefs’ Mandla Masango was in­cluded in place of Luyolo No­man­dela of Free State Stars, and Mzikayise Mashaba of Wits was called up as a re­place­ment for Wil­liam Twala of Or­lando Pi­rates ( for­merly Chippa United).

Bafana me­dia of­fi­cer Matl­ho­mola Mo­rake said three of the play­ers – Bi­lankulu, Twala and Davids – with­drew as their clubs said they were re­turn­ing from in­juries.

“No­man­dela is in­jured, and the other three, the clubs said the play­ers were com­ing back from in­jury so they were deemed un­fit,” said Mo­rake.

Ige­sund was forced to make nine changes to his orig­i­nal squad ear­lier in the week af­ter clubs opted not to re­lease play­ers.

Kaizer Chiefs had five play­ers se­lected but they were later with­drawn, while the Su­perS­port United duo of Ron­wen Wil­liams and striker Ker­mit Eras­mus, Bloem­fontein Celtic defender Thabo Nthethe, who was to cap­tain the squad, and Mamelodi Sun­downs defender Tebogo Langer­man were also re­moved.

Ige­sund said they were fac­ing a stiff chal­lenge in Zam­bia with an un­der­strength team.

“We need to be com­pet­i­tive there,” said Ige­sund.

“There were so many play­ers pulling out for what­ever rea­sons and so many not avail­able so it is be­com­ing very tough.” South Africa squad: Goal­keep­ers: Siyabonga Mpontshane, Wayne Sandi­lands. De­fend­ers: Be­van Frans­man, Thu­lani Hlatshwayo, Sibu­siso Khu­malo, Vuyo Mere, Lehlo­honolo Nomyane, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Tshepo Gumede. Mid­field­ers: Mandla Masango, Lerato Cha­bangu, Sibu­siso Msomi, Hlom­pho Kekana, Ed­ward Man­qele, Jabu Shongwe, Ruzaigh Gamil­dien. Strik­ers: Katlego Mashego, Mzikayise Mashaba, Le­bo­gang Manyama, Tha­bani Mthembu –

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