Bafana to face Poland, Kenya
Gordon Igesund (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana will play Poland and Kenya in friendly internationals next month, the SA Football Association (SAFA) confirmed on Wednesday.
SAFA said the first match would be played in Warsaw on October 12, and four days later the senior men's national team would face the Harambee Stars in Nairobi.
Bafana coach Gordon Igesund had hoped to play two matches against African teams ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), which will be hosted by South Africa, but he said he had changed his mind, with most of the top African sides unavailable for friendly contests.
A match against Egypt had been considered, according to Igesund, but the Pharaohs were set to tour the United Arab Emirates over the same period.
"Initially I felt it was prudent to play African opposition, considering we will be playing in the Afcon tournament in four months' time," Igesund said in a statement.
"But after seeing the opposition available, I decided Poland was the best option.
"Most of the top African teams are involved in the 2013 Afcon qualifiers, therefore we had no tough opponents to play against.
"We need to play strong opposition so we can be tested thoroughly, therefore after considering all options which we had, I have no doubt in my mind that Poland will give us the test that we require."
Igesund, who replaced former head coach Pitso Mosimane in June, hoped Poland and Kenya would provide strong challenges in an effort to prepare his side for the continental tournament early next year.
"We are not afraid to lose. That is why we don't need to play weak opposition," Igesund said.
"We need to be challenged so we can see where we are.
"If any of the top African teams were available then it would have been a different ball game altogether."
SAFAsaid Igesund would name his travelling squad next week.