Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund is backing Mali to win the 2013
Africa Cup of Nations because of the intelligent football they play as
well as the conflict they're experiencing.
According to the Football411.com website , since early January the northern part of Mali is involved in a
war with Islamic extremists, the French army joined the Mali government
to combat the rebels. The Mali players participating at the AFCON have
said they are competing at the tournament to give their countrymen hope.
Mali captain Seydou Keita stated that he would even pay his team-mates amidst a lack of finances.
Igesund believes that the West Africa country needs their players
to be victorious to give them a sense of pride during their time of
"For players burdened by the thought that their country is
threatened by civil war, it would be hailed worldwide as a dramatic
sentimental triumph," said Igesund.
"And ... I am impressed by the thoughtful, calculated style of
soccer employed in the team by French coach Patrice Carteron, something I
learnt from bitter experience in our nail-biting defeat," he said of
the quarter-final clash against the Eagles who beat Bafana in a penalty
The scores were level after 120 minutes, Tokelo Rantie scored for
the hosts while Keita equalised for Mali, who won 3-1 via the
They take on Nigeria at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, kickoff is at 17:00.