The conclusion of the Bafana Bafana national squad, and the team's arrival at their designated host city, now adds to a total of 6 teams who now have arrived for the Orange CHAN 2014 which kicks off on 11 January till 1 February 2014. Commenting on the amicable conclusion of the national squad the LOC CEO, Mr. Mvuzo Mbebe, said: "it has always been our resolve and belief as the LOC that we have full confidence that 16 nations participating at this tournament will select their best squad for this competition. We therefore welcome Bafana Bafana as they join Mali, Mozambique and Nigeria in Group A".
The release of Kaizer Chiefs and Bidvest Wits players to Bafana Bafana will strengthen Igesund’s team. Itumeleng Khune, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Tsepo Masilela, Bernard Parker and Tefu Mashamaite (all Kaizer Chiefs); and Moeneeb Josephs, Sibusiso Vilakazi, Ryan Chapman and Kwanda Mngonyama (all Wits) are now available to Gordon Igesund whose team became the 6th side to arrive in Cape Town in readiness for the tournament.
Bafana’s team for the tournament now comprises players from seven PSL clubs – Chiefs, Wits, Sundowns, Swallows, Platinum Stars, Bloemfontein Celtic and University of Pretoria.Igesund said he needed a full-strength team to continue Bafana’s winning streak. “After beating Spain, we should carry on with the habit of winning and [the African Nations Championship] is a type of tournament where it is important for the team to do well,” he was quoted in the local South African daily, “City Press”.
Igesund went on to say: “The challenge is to get Bafana going to a point that we get into the top eight in Africa so that we can be seeded when the draw for big tournaments is made.” The 16-nation competition is tailored for domestically based players and this will be the second time South Africa makes an appearance in it after their debut in the 2011 edition in Sudan. The team, under then coach Simon Ngomane, was eliminated in the quarterfinals after winning all their matches in the group stage.
The stage is now set for latest Bafana call-ups Asavela Mbekile of Moroka Swallows, Platinum Stars’ Lindokuhle Mbatha and Wits’ Kwanda Mngonyama to seize their chances.Orange CHAN 2014, to be hosted in South Africa from 11 January to 1 February 2014, takes place in Cape Town for Group A and B at Cape Town Stadium and Athlone Stadium respectively, and in Mangaung for Group C at the Free State Stadium, as well as in Polokwane for Group D at the New Peter Mokaba Stadium.