Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana’s one and only training session at the Rufaro
Stadium in Harare failed to kickoff after the floodlights went off
during the squad’s warm-up routine.
South Africa is in the capital to
face Zimbabwe in an international friendly match that will be played at
the Rufaro Stadium. The match is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.
Kickoff is at 20:00.
Efforts by stadium management to get the lights back on failed as Bafana
Bafana finished off their warm-up session and waited patiently on the
sidelines as the lights came back on briefly only to go out again after a
Even the intervention of head coach Pitso Mosimane to
speak to officials at the stadium yielded no results and he had to call
off the session without the players kicking the ball. The lights did
come back as the players were getting into the bus, but it is not clear
how long they lasted. The Zimbabwe National Team also arrived as the
Bafana Bafana players were leaving the stadium for their hotel.
“It is unfortunate that we could not train ahead of our match. Our
players last trained before the clash against Cote d’Ivoire in Port
Elizabeth and also we have a new group that hasn’t played together in
the national team. This has really hampered our preparations and we will
have to sort everything out at the match, but we will soldier on,” said
Poobie Govindasamy, the Head of the South African Delegation was also very disappointed at the turn of events.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) has sent their apology and we
accept it for this misfortune. But it is unacceptable as the lights
should have been tested in good time. I am told it was a mechanical
fault and we have to accept that even though they deprived Bafana Bafana
of their only training session. What is also worrying is that we
haven’t played on this pitch before and this was our only chance to get
the feel of it,” said Govindasamy.
Mosimane has appointed defender Morgan Gould as captain of the team to
face Zimbabwe. This will be the second time he does so after he led the
side in a one-nil victory over Tanzania in a friendly match earlier this
“This is a Southern hemisphere clash and it’s always going to be a big
match whether it is a friendly international or qualifier. And it’s a
known fact that both countries want to dominate. Coming here with a
young team is just to give them exposure and a taste of international
football. We want them to see how tough it’s going to be as this is one
the tests they have to undergo at a higher level, but we are confident
we will do well,” said Gould.