Coach Molefi Ntseki has explained why he prefers to have Bafana Bafana play their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Sao Tome and Principe at the FNB Stadium. Photo: BackpagePix
Coach Molefi Ntseki has explained why he prefers to have Bafana Bafana play their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Sao Tome and Principe at the FNB Stadium. Photo: BackpagePix

FNB is best for Sao Tome match - Ntseki

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Feb 18, 2020

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Coach Molefi Ntseki has explained why he prefers to have Bafana Bafana play their Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Sao Tome and Principe at the FNB Stadium.

It has been suggested that the senior national team coach has requested his employers, the South African Football Association (Safa), stage all the Bafana games in Johannesburg.

Ntseki, though, has refuted that.

“Firstly, it has to be corrected because it is not true. Our focus is now on Sao Tome and yes, we want to play them at the FNB Stadium,” Ntseki stated.

“I’m sure you are fully aware that after the home game against Sao Tome we have to fly out to Sao Tome (to play the return leg). So we could not take the game anywhere outside of Johannesburg. Johannesburg is more central and convenient for us,” Ntseki explained.

Bafana have acquired three points in two matches following a 2-0 defeat to Ghana and a 1-0 victory over Sudan.

Ntseki further explained why it made sense to host next month’s game in Joburg.

“We play on Friday here at home and after the game we hopefully get flights on Saturday because we will be going via Angola.

“There are no direct flights from South Africa to Sao Tome.”

There are also football reasons behind the decision to play the match at the venue.

“FNB Stadium has a bigger field. We played the Seychelles there last year and they struggled because of the maximum size of FNB Stadium and the type of players we had in our team. So we will play the game against Sao Tome at FNB."

The coach is currently doing homework on the opposition, who will use an artificial pitch when they host Bafana.

“That’s why we play on Friday in Johannesburg so that in our preparation, we can use the artificial pitch.

"Fortunately for us our pitch at the technical centre is in good condition. We will also be using that brand new artificial pitch. We are told that the artificial pitch in Sao Tome is very old and hard. The ball will bounce differently from a normal pitch and from the artificial pitch that we have at the technical centre.

“It is only for us to prepare and motivate the players in terms of the environment in which they will be operating.”

Bafana will be looking for nothing less than six points against Sao Tome.

“The (team) manager Levy Ramajoe is currently in Sao Tome and will bring all the information regarding everything that has to do with accommodation, pitch and weather conditions. We will work out everything,” Ntseki elaborated.

@minenhlecr7


The Mercury

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