Njabulo Ngidi
1 minute read
9 Apr 2014
11:00 am

Igesund has an ace up his sleeve

Njabulo Ngidi

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund – announcing an 18-man squad to serve as a sparring partner for World Cup-bound Australia and then New Zealand – was limping physically and metaphorically.

FILE PICTURE: Themba Zwane of Black Aces during the Absa Premiership match between Ajax Cape Town and MP Black Aces at Athlone Stadium on March 28, 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Picture: Gallo images

Igesund wore a cast boot yesterday, needing crutches to walk. It is rumoured that Igesund will need divine intervention to save himself from being forced to walk the plank as Bafana Bafana coach when his contract expires in June.

Before that he has to deal with the findings from the task team led by Advocate Norman Arendse. The advocate is investigating allegations that Igesund ordered players to demand bonuses before the shambolic African Nations Championship (Chan), where Bafana Bafana were eliminated in the group stages on home soil.

Arendse’s deadline is next week Tuesday. In the meantime Igesund is still in charge. He named what he called “a nicely balanced squad” to face Australia in Sydney on May 26 at 11.30am South African time. Four days later they will face New Zealand in Auckland at 9.30am local time.

The squad will assemble on May 19 when the curtain has fallen on the 2013/14 season and leave three days later. The matches don’t fall under the Fifa calendar, which is why Igesund couldn’t select some overseas-based players.

He called up in-form Themba Zwane from Mpumalanga Black Aces, who will be the only new face. Igesund will have to hold thumbs that clubs release their players during what will be a rest period.

“We announced the squad early because we will be going to two countries, so we needed to sort out the issue of visas quite early because,” Igesund said.

“I have a contingency plan should one or two players withdraw. We certainly hope that’s not the case and the PSL support us. I know that there might be one or two withdrawals, but we have made plans for that.”