‘Sad situation’ but Bafana Bafana are up for Cosafa Cup challenge
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DURBAN - Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rushine De Reuck is looking forward to the prospect of serving as vice-captain for Bafana Bafana in the Cosafa Cup.
The South African senior national men’s team will start their campaign in the tournament this afternoon as they play against Botswana at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha with kick-off set to take place at 5pm.
“It’s a big privilege and responsibility to me,” said De Reuck, who will serve as deputy to AmaZulu goalkeeper Veli Mothwa in terms of captaincy.
“We have the responsibility to make the fans and people of South Africa proud.
“I hope that I can excel in this position and help the players around me.
“Hopefully we can do well in the tournament. It’s a big honour to be here because there are many good footballers that are not here.”
After several years of international mishaps, which included failing to qualify for the 2018 Fifa World Cup and 2022
CAF Africa Cup of Nations, Bafana will be aiming to win the southern African tournament to give their fans something to celebrate.
In addition to this, the tournament will also serve as a developmental platform, allowing fringe players to stake a claim to become first-team regulars for Bafana at the highest level.
On paper, Bafana will be among the favourites to win the competition with Zambia being their closest rivals.
However, the South Africans have underachieved in the last three editions of the tournament having last won it in 2016.
The one major challenge for players competing this year is that the event is taking place in the midst of South Africa’s third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic which is currently wreaking havoc, particularly in Gauteng.
“It’s really sad,” said De Reuck. “Some things are out of your control. As footballers, we strive to have fans in the stadium. It is important that people comply with protocols so that we can do better as a nation.
“We are looking forward to fans returning to the stadium because we look forward to having our families at the stadium. With that not taking place, it’s a bit sad.”
Bafana head Hugo Broos will not be present at the event as he is currently in Europe, where he is set to receive his second jab of the Covid-19 vaccine.
Broos’s era as the new coach of Bafana started on a good note last month with the team recording a 3-2 win over Uganda.