Iran's late cancellation leaves Bafana stranded for friendly in Fifa date
A “late cancellation” by Iran has left Bafana Bafana without a friendly match to play in the June Fifa international date, SA Football Association (Safa) president Tebogo Motlanthe said.
Safa had been trying to schedule a game against Iran in Doha, Qatar, on the way back from Bafana’s opening 2023 Africa Cup of Nations Group K qualifier against Morocco in Rabat on Thursday night.
The expulsion of Zimbabwe from the Nations Cup qualifiers means Group K now comprises three teams. This leaves dates open for Safa to schedule friendly matches around Bafana’s qualifying games.
“We had done all paperwork with Iran where we were even asked to send the players’ passports. But later they came back to say they were unable to play us. They said that through agents,” Motlanthe said from Morocco. “And of course, because of their late cancellation we unfortunately do not have any friendly for this window period. But the coach has promised to submit his September programme, which will include friendlies.
“The focus now is on this game [against Morocco] and after that, when we are back in SA, he will provide a plan for September, which as an association we have to ensure is readily available.”
SA coach Hugo Broos has said he wants strong opposition in friendly matches for his young team to gain experience.
Safa’s forward planning on arranging strong friendly games has not been a strong point of the association.