Bafana add Fransman to squad
Bevan Fransman (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - Hosts South Africa on Wednesday added Israel-based defender Bevan Fransman to the preliminary World Cup squad they named last month.
There are no other changes to the original 29-strong list released by Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira 13 days ago for the June 11 - July 11 tournament.
Fransman, a tall, 26-year-old from Cape Town who plays for Maccabi Netanya, owes his call-up to an injury which ruled out Morgan Gould from champions SuperSport United.
Gould has been sidelined since February and Parreira said the South African Premiership star would not be ready for a challenging Group A schedule against Mexico, Uruguay and France.
Coach of the 1994 Brazil World Cup-winning team, Parreira has five central defenders and one is likely to drop out by June 1 when the 32 qualifiers must cut their squads to 23 players.
Captain Aaron Mokoena, Siyabonga Sangweni and Bongani Khumalo are sure to make it, leaving 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup cult figure Matthew Booth and Fransman fighting for the other place.
Booth from Mamelodi Sundowns sprang to international prominence during the World Cup dress-rehearsal after the international media mistakenly thought he was being booed when in possession because he is white.
The 'Boooooooooo' chant from the stands was actually in praise of one of the most popular local footballers, who is married to a black South African model and columnist for the Johannesburg Star newspaper.
South Africa have won two and drawn five international warm-ups since Parreira replaced compatriot Joel Santana last November, although the opposition has been modest.
Bafana Bafana play Mexico at the 90 000-seat Soccer City stadium on the outskirts of Soweto in the opening match of the first World Cup staged by Africa.
They face Thailand Sunday in eastern city Nelspruit, Bulgaria (May 24), Colombia (May 27) and Denmark (June 5) in other friendlies while Parreira has not abandoned hope of a warm-up against Argentina.
No World Cup host has failed to reach the second round, but South Africa are outsiders against former champions France and Uruguay and Mexico in arguably the toughest of eight mini-leagues.
Goalkeepers: Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld/GER), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Shuaib Walters (Maritzburg Utd)
Defenders: Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Mdledle (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bevan Fransman (Maccabi Netanya/ISR), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport Utd), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa/ISR), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth/ENG, capt), Bryce Moon (PAOK/GRE), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk/BEL), Siyabonga Sangweni (Golden Arrows), Lucas Thwala (Pirates)
Midfielders: Franklin Cale (Mamelodi Sundowns), Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns), Andile Jali (Pirates), Teko Modise (Pirates), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham/ENG), Thanduyise Khuboni (Arrows), Steven Pienaar (Everton/ENG), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan/RUS)
Strikers: Benni MaCarthy (West Ham/ENG), Katlego Mashego (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Nomvete (Moroka Swallows), Bernard Parker (Twente/NED)
Note: Squad must be cut to 23 players by June 1