A fit Percy Tau is invaluable to Al Ahly and Bafana Bafana

Percy Tau has become an important player for Al Ahly. Photo: Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

Percy Tau has become an important player for Al Ahly. Photo: Weam Mostafa/BackpagePix

Published Jun 22, 2023


Cape Town - Percy Tau’s terrific form for Al Ahly has prompted the Egyptian giants to present the South African with a new, improved contract.

Although Al Ahly are yet to make an announcement, the well-known Egyptian football journalist Mohamed Shabana shared the information during a Cairo TV broadcast on Monday night. Tau’s contract expires at the end of next season and the club are keen to add another year’s extension.

Tau has proved to be one of Al Ahly’s most valuable players. Now that he has shaken off injuries he is on top of his game. He played a massive role in guiding Al Ahly to the Caf Champions League title, scoring five goals and providing five assists in 12 games.

After two seasons with the Red Devils, Tau’s honours list includes two Egypt Super Cups, one Egypt Cup, and most importantly the Champions League trophy. Of late the 29-year-old Tau has attracted the attention of clubs in the Netherlands and Belgium, but his former coach Pitso Mosimane has warned him against entertaining offers from Europe.

Mosimane said if he opts for a European club, he must insist on getting game time.

“You are now 29-years-old, so you need to play,” said Mosimane.

Tau was thrilled by Bafana Bafana’s superb performance against Morocco, and he feels the national team will be a serious contender for Africa Cup of Nations honours in Ivory Coast next January.

“We will do better at the next Afcon,” Tau told the media before returning to Egypt.

“We don’t have to limit ourselves. The team is growing, and we have to be confident. If we can spend more time together, we’ll even produce a better finish than what we got in Egypt.

“I want to go as far as possible in the Afcon tournament because I believe that the guys would also want that. I mean, why would we have to go out early?

“We have a team, guys. One that will get the results, don’t worry.”

Tau will likely be called up for Bafana duty again for friendlies in September when preparations for Afcon will start in earnest.

Meanwhile, Guinea became the latest team to seal their place at Afcon when they qualified without kicking a ball on Tuesday as Malawi were held to a 0-0 draw by Ethiopia.

The result in neutral Maputo means Guinea cannot be overhauled in second place in qualification Group D when the final round of matches are played in September. Egypt head the pool with 12 points, followed by Guinea with nine.

Malawi and Ethiopia both have four.

The top two sides in each group will play in the 24-team tournament that will be staged from January 13 next year.

Namibia were hoping to seal their place too, but slipped to a 3-2 loss to Burundi in neutral Dar es Salaam and now face an anxious wait to learn their fate having completed their fixtures in the three-team Group C.

Burundi raced into a 3-0 lead inside 19 minutes as Abedi Bigirimana, Caleb Bimenyimana and Hussein Shabani provided an electric start.

Namibia pulled two goals back through Peter Shalulile and Wendell Rudath, which could yet be crucial in the final equation. Namibia lead the pool with five points, ahead of Cameroon and Burundi, who both have four. The latter two will meet in the final fixture in Yaounde in September.

A win for either team and they will qualify with Namibia, while a draw would leave all three teams on five points and an even goaldifference. The tie-breaker would therefore be goals scored.

Here the equation also favours Namibia as they have scored six times in their four games, while Burundi have four goals and Cameroon three. The only way Namibia will not qualify is in a very high-scoring draw.

Mauritania cruised to a 3-0 win against Sudan in Group I as they shot from the bottom to the top of a tight pool where all four teams remain in contention for qualification.