Bafana Bafana

Emotional week in SA sees Ntseki's Bafana debut on hold

2019-09-06 08:47
Molefi Ntseki
Molefi Ntseki (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Newly appointed Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki will have to wait two months before making his debut in the dugout for the national team.

The 50-year-old was due to take charge of his first official match on Saturday before Zambia pulled out of the friendly fixture due to the recent xenophobic attacks in Gauteng.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) worked around the clock to arrange a replacement match - and COSAFA compatriots Madagascar accepted the offer.

However, late on Thursday evening SAFA confirmed that Madagascar "decided to withdraw from the encounter" with no reason given.

The Orlando Stadium in Soweto was set to host the match and SAFA even went as far as declaring free entry for fans interested in attending.

South Africa endured a gruesome news week with xenophobic attacks, rape cases and several murders which caused a huge uproar from the general public.

Thousands gathered in the city centre in Cape Town on Thursday to march to parliament urging South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa to address the nation.

Meanwhile, Ntseki said that the attacks and murders of foreigners were "very worrying" and hoped the country becomes united through urgent change.

"It is an unfortunate situation and we tend to forget that we are all Africans and we are all human beings and to take someone's life is not acceptable," Ntseki said.

"I think we must be united as Africans, let's protect each other. Africans are loving people and we need to reciprocate that love."

Ntseki, who previously coached the national under-17 side, was appointed as Bafana mentor last week after serving for a month as caretaker coach.

He replaced Stuart Baxter who shockingly resigned after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament.

Ntseki will get his chance in the Bafana technical area when the 2021 AFCON qualifiers kick off during the next international break.

Bafana take on African giants Ghana on Monday, November 11 in an away fixture before returning to South Africa to entertain Sudan on Tuesday, November 19.

Venues and kick-off times will be confirmed in due course.

- Compiled by: Tashreeq Vardien

Read more on:    bafana bafana  |  afcon 2021  |  molefi ntseki  |  soccer


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