Safa have put a number of measures in place to ensure that Bafana isn’t affected when they host Sao Tome at FNB Stadium on Friday, March 27, and then visit the Islanders three days later, said team doctor Thulani Ngwenya. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix
Safa have put a number of measures in place to ensure that Bafana isn’t affected when they host Sao Tome at FNB Stadium on Friday, March 27, and then visit the Islanders three days later, said team doctor Thulani Ngwenya. Photo: Sydney Mahlangu /BackpagePix

Safa puts up coronavirus defences

By Bonginkosi Ndadane Time of article published Mar 13, 2020

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The South Africa Football Association (Safa) is taking every precaution to ensure that Bafana Bafana players aren’t affected by coronavirus in their back-to-back 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Sao Tome.

Safa have put a number of measures in place to ensure that Bafana isn’t affected when they host Sao Tome at FNB Stadium on Friday, March 27, and then visit the Islanders three days later, said team doctor Thulani Ngwenya.

“One of the reasons why there is a chartered flight is because of coronavirus. We are minimising the risk. We don’t want to go and connect because when you are connecting, we will be increasing the risk of getting coronavirus. We are governed by the World Health Organisation in the world and we are governed by the Department of Health in South Africa. I have confirmed that in South Africa and Africa, coronavirus is not yet an epidemic. We are still okay. As much as we are okay we still want to take the necessary precautions. We have all the necessary precautions in place after speaking to the team doctors for the players based overseas and those in the country.”

The squad that coach Molefi Ntseki announced yesterday includes the France-based duo of Lebogang Phiri and Lebo Mothiba. France have the fifth highest confirmed cases after China, Italy, Iran and South Korea.

“I have been in communication with the team and medical staff in France,” Ngwenya said. “At the moment, we are good. There are precautionary measures that are in place for them to come this side.”

The squad saw the return of former captain Itumeleng Khune who lost his place due to a shoulder injury he picked up in December 2018. Khune was sidelined for the most part of last season at Kaizer Chiefs.

“I was at Chiefs the day before yesterday (Tuesday), I was part of the training session from the first minute until the last,” Ntseki said. “We were very specific with the doctor to look at the training session itself, the physical side, tactical side and mental side of Itumeleng Khune. It was a very interesting training session. By then we had already selected him, it wasn’t because of the session we attended.”

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Ronwen Williams and Brandon Petersen

Defenders: Erick Mathoho, Reeve Frosler, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Sifiso Hlanti, Gladwin Shitolo, Innocent Maela, Mosa Lebusa and Thabo Matlaba

Midfielders: Andile Jali, Themba Zwane, George Maluleka, Lebogang Manyama, Dean Furman, Teboho Mokoena, Lebogang Phiri, Thembinkosi Lorch, Percy Tau and Thulani Serero.

Strikers: Lebo Mothiba, Bradley Grobler and Thabiso Kutumela

Bonginkosi Ndadane

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