Bafana Bafana

Shakes wants focused Bafana

2014-09-08 15:01
Shakes Mashaba (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba says he remains hopeful his team can put aside off-field issues surrounding the Nigerian national team when the two sides clash in an Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in Cape Town on Wednesday.

“It will depend on us individually. The banning of Nigeria and all that, it’s not a technical thing, it’s an administrative thing,” Mashaba said at Athlone Stadium on Monday following the team’s second training session since arriving in the city on Saturday.

“We can only hope that our boys don’t buy into that. They must just shut off from all those noises, prepare for the game and look forward.”

Nigeria were facing a ban from international participation by FIFA after a controversy surrounding Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) factional leader Chris Giwa. He was ordered to withdraw his claim to the presidency of Nigerian football by 09:00 on Monday.

Should FIFA rule that Giwa had not followed their precise instructions, Nigeria could be banned from competing in the 2015 AFCON qualifiers, meaning Wednesday’s fixture could be called off and South Africa awarded a walk-over victory.

FIFA issued an ultimatum last week, reiterating their rejection of Giwa’s claim to the post and had repeatedly threatened the national team with sanctions.

Giwa, meanwhile, had insisted he won the August 26 elections and was expected to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

According to FIFA, any ban would only be lifted when the NFF board - as it stood on August 25 - with Aminu Maigari as president, was allowed back into their offices to work.

Mashaba, meanwhile, said he and his team were focusing on the mental side of things ahead of Wednesday's match. He called for a clinical performance, following Bafana's dominant 3-0 victory over Sudan last Friday.

“It won’t be a technical match, they’re going to be fighting as well,” Mashaba said.

“I’ve got confidence with the kind of players that we’ve assembled here and I’m confident that we’ll get something out of the game.”

Second half replacement Sibusiso Vilakazi, who came on eight minutes into the second period in Khartoum, scored a superb brace to send South Africa on their way. Mashaba hinted he was resisting the temptation to include Vilakazi in his starting line-up as a result of the Wits midfielder’s heroics.

“In modern football, there’s what we call a technical weapon - good players start from the bench,” he said.

“All three subs who came on paid dividends. It was like they wanted to show the coach that they don’t belong to the bench.”

Meanwhile, Mashaba also confirmed Andile Jali was nursing a knock to his ankle. The midfielder took part in very little of Monday’s training.

Bafana played a friendly against local league side Santos on Sunday in which Jali did not take part as medical staff preferred to keep the fiery playmaker out of harm’s way.

The Nigerian team, in the mean time, had landed in Cape Town on Monday morning and were expected to take part in a light training session at Athlone Stadium later in the day.

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2015  |  shakes mashaba  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Do you think SAFA made the right choice in appointing Stuart Baxter as head coach of Bafana Bafana?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.