Cape Town - The South African Football Association (SAFA) has made a request to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to reschedule games so that the national team can have more time to prepare for the crucial Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Libya in March.
Bafana Bafana take on Libya on the weekend of 22-24 March in a game that they need to at least draw to book a place in the 2019 tournament in Egypt.
Acting CEO of SAFA, Russell Paul, confirmed that they have asked the PSL to move matches and are grateful that their request has been entertained.
"We are very grateful to the NSL, the board of governors and the clubs for their holistic understanding when we made our request," Paul said, as quoted on SAFA's website.
"This move is an indication of their unwavering support to SAFA and Bafana Bafana at such a very crucial time, when the men’s senior national team prepares for the most important match thus far this year.
"This support from the NSL and its clubs will assist the head coach and his team to have additional time to prepare the team for this all-important clash, and we can only wish the squad all the best and convey to them that they have the support of the entire country."
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter, who has been part of the discussions, is happy that both bodies are working together for the good of the national team.
Baxter was quoted as saying: "When I started with my job as the national team coach, I always preached cooperation among all the stakeholders, and this is proof that when we come together we can do what’s best for the nation.
"With all the preparations already in place, we know just how difficult it was for the PSL and the clubs to accede to our request, and we are eternally grateful for this gesture as it means a lot.
"With that behind us, now we can focus on the challenge at hand, which is to go and qualify Bafana Bafana to the 2019 AFCON in Egypt.
"We are confident that with the nation behind us, this team can only prosper."