More problems for Bafana
Johannesburg - The friendly international match between Bafana Bafana and China has been called off. The clash was scheduled for Wednesday, 28 April at the Offenbach Kickers FC Stadium in Frankfurt, Germany.
In a letter written to the South African Football Association (Safa), the Chinese Football Association declined to go ahead with the match citing the recent volcanic ash eruptions.
“We have been making all the necessary preparations for this game, but as the Iceland volcanic eruption has affected most flights between China and Europe, it is very difficult for us to travel to Europe at this stage. We need to ensure that all players return to China after the match on time to participate in the Chinese Super League to be staged the following day.” said the Chinese Fedaration.
Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe, who was on a visit to the Bafana Bafana training camp in Germany, has expressed the association’s disappointments.
“This is something that we will take up with FIFA, because we had agreement with the China FA. Whilst we understand the challenge restrictions occasioned by the volcanic eruption in Iceland, this is not the type of news we were expecting. I had a chat with the coach and we are currently working on plan B.” said Sedibe.
We are currently looking at playing a local team in the Bundesliga, alternatively one of the Associations. We are talking to at least two at the moment and as soon as we finalize the arrangements for the match we'll make the appropriate announcement. We just have to make the best of the situation,” said Sedibe.
Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Parreira was looking forward to the challenge against China, more so after his side played to a goalless draw against DPR Korea on Thursday, 22 April.
“I am not happy, this is a big blow for us. We need the players to be playing matches. I am really disappointed because the team is preparing hard and preparations are not just about training – we need games where you can see players and work on certain aspects of their game.,” said Parreira.