CAF qualifiers moved out from June to September, an advantage for Hugo Broos?
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Just hours after Hugo Broos was appointed the head coach of Bafana Bafana, the Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) announced that the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 have been moved out from June to September 2021.
This postponement of fixtures will come as a welcome break for the Belgian-born Broos who would have had three weeks to prepare for the upcoming qualifier against Zimbabwe at the start of June. He will now have three months to prepare for his debut.
Broos will arrive in South Africa next week and will start official duties. In a short media address on Wednesday, he said: “First of all, we will try to qualify for the 2022 World Cup."
The statement from CAF on Thursday read: 'The CAF Emergency Committee, in consultation with FIFA, decided to postpone the CAF qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™️ that were due to be played in June 2021 after taking into consideration the current challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the need to ensure the optimal playing conditions for all participating teams.
'The qualifiers will now take place in the existing windows of September, October and November 2021, and March 2022.
'CAF is reassessing its protocols and processes to enhance the implementation of covid-related protocols, including specifically focusing on pre-match testing, which had been the source of some challenges in previous windows.
'Full details on the updated match schedule will be provided in due course.'
Apart from the reasons CAF mention in the statement, there have been problems with venues being 'match fit' for the qualifiers. As a result, CAF has sent out a circular to several national federations pointing out the problems at venues for the upcoming internationals.
Meanwhile, the South African Football Association (SAFA) on Thursday announced that it has amicably parted ways with coach Molefi Ntseki, following Bafana Bafana’s failure to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations.
Under Ntseki’s watch, Bafana Bafana won four, drew two and lost three of the nine international matches played.
Before being the senior national team coach, the Free-State born coach had stints with South African junior national teams, including guiding the SA Under-17 team (Amajimbos) to the 2015 Fifa World Cup in Chile.
He also helped Amajimbos qualify for the 2015 Under-17 Afcon Tournament, where he finished as runners-up to Mali, thus earning a ticket to Chile.
Two days earlier, Safa said that Ntseki would be part of the technical staff of new coach Broos. With this appointment, Safa would save on compensating Ntseki who still had several years on his contract.