Bafana land international friendlies thanks to Fifa project

BAFANA Bafana head coach Hugo Broos will reunite with his players for the first time since they returned with bronze from Afcon | AFP

BAFANA Bafana head coach Hugo Broos will reunite with his players for the first time since they returned with bronze from Afcon | AFP

Published Mar 9, 2024


BAFANA Bafana will be among the first African teams to benefit from the Fifa Series International Friendlies Pilot Project which will be rolled out later this month.

Fifa, the international governing body of football, will facilitate inter-confederation friendlies during the March window. Algeria, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia and Sri Lanka will host the first pilot project matches.

The initiative aims to provide member associations with playing opportunities.

Fifa president Gianni Infantino said the objective is to help raise the level of play in countries outside soccer’s power bases of Europe and South America and make World Cups more competitive.

There will also be an effort to accelerate the progress of national teams who rarely play outside their continent. Some will have their travel costs paid by Fifa.

The pilot project will run from March 18 to 26 and will feature national teams from all six confederations.

“The Fifa Series is a really positive step forward for national-team football at the global level,” said Infantino. “Our member associations have been telling us for a long time now of their desire to test themselves against their counterparts from all around the world, and now they can do so within the current men’s International match calendar.

“More meaningful matches will enable far more valuable footballing interaction for players, teams and fans, and will make a concrete contribution to the development of the game.”

Bafana is one of three teams that will be hosted by Algeria (Caf) for the Fifa Series. The other teams are Andorra (Uefa) and Bolivia (Conmebol). Bafana will play the small European country Andorra on Thursday, March 21, and then Algeria on Tuesday, March 26, at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiers.

Bafana coach Hugo Broos has named a 32-man preliminary squad for the two matches.

The team will have a camp ahead of the international friendlies and it will be the first time that the Belgian will reunite with his team since clinching a bronze medal at the 2023 Afcon in Ivory Coast.

The preliminary Bafana squad:

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Ricardo Goss (Supersport United), Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu)

Defenders: Sydney Mobbie (Sekhukhune United), Bradley Cross (Golden Arrows), Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Nkosinathi Sibisi (Orlando Pirates), Aubrey Modiba (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyanda Xulu (Supersport United), Mothobi Mvala (Mamelodi Sundowns), Tapelo Xoki (Orlando Pirates), Siyabonga Ngezana (FCSB, Romania), Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns), Goodman Mosele (Chippa United), Jayden Adams (Stellenbosch Fc), Sphephelo Sithole (CD Tondela, Portugal), Thabang Monare (Orlando Pirates), Grant Margeman (Supersport United)

Forwards: Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Zakhele Lepasa (Orlando Pirates), Oswin Appollis (Polokwane City), Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates), Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol, Cyprus), Mlondi Mbanjwa (Amazulu), Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC), Tshepang Moremi (Amazulu), Elias Mokwana (Sekhukhune United), Evidence Makgopa (Orlando Pirates), Thapelo Maseko (Mamelodi Sundowns)