Cape Town - The South African Football Association (SAFA) are reportedly in talks with Madagascar in the hopes of finding a replacement opponent for Bafana Bafana after Zambia pulled out of their international friendly due to Xenophobic attacks.
Bafana Bafana were set to face Chipolopolo on Saturday, September 7, but the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) called off the scheduled friendly citing "security concerns".
In a statement, FAZ wrote: “The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) regrets to inform members of the public that the international friendly match between Zambia and South Africa that was scheduled for National Heroes Stadium on Saturday, 7 September 2019 has been called off in view of the prevailing security concerns in South Africa. FAZ General Secretary Adrian Kashala has relayed the message to the South African Football Association (SAFA) about the decision.”
According to Soccer Laduma, SAFA are now scurrying to find a replacement with Madagascar being the latest nation receiving calls from South Africa’s football body.
South Africa last played against Nigeria in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) held in Egypt.
The Super Eagles handed Bafana Bafana a 2-1 defeat in the quarter-final.
Since then, Stuart Baxter shockingly resigned with the cash-strapped SAFA entrusting Molefi Ntseki as his replacement on a four-year contract.
If no friendly matches are successfully arranged during the current international window, Ntseki will then only make his debut in the Bafana Bafana dugout for the first time in November.
South Africa are next scheduled to play Ghana (November 11) and Sudan (November 19) in 2021 AFCON qualifiers.
- Compiled by Tashreeq Vardien