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Bafana Bafana Announce Inexperienced Squad For COSAFA Cup

  • June 21, 2024
  • 2 min read
Bafana Bafana Announce Inexperienced Squad For COSAFA Cup

Bafana Bafana assistant coach Helman Mkhalele has named a young and inexperienced squad for the upcoming COSAFA Cup, which takes place in the Eastern Cape from 26 June until 7 July.

The selection features players at the beginning of their professional careers or those who haven’t seen much playing time at their clubs.

Notably absent are players like Relebohile Mofokeng, who were part of the preliminary squad. Orlando Pirates likely requested his exclusion to keep him fresh after his involvement in Bafana Bafana’s recent World Cup qualifiers.

In fact, the entire squad lacks representation from Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs, and Orlando Pirates. These clubs may have requested their players be excused due to the pre-season training periods beginning later this month.

Despite the team’s inexperience, South Africa will renew their historic rivalry with Botswana in Group A. This matchup marks the ninth consecutive COSAFA Cup meeting between the neighbors, with Botswana yet to secure a win against South Africa.

Group A also features Mozambique and Eswatini, promising a competitive opening stage. Meanwhile, Group B sees record champions Zambia aiming for an unprecedented third consecutive title. They’ll face familiar opponents Zimbabwe and Comoros, with the fourth team yet to be confirmed.

Last year’s runners-up, Lesotho, find themselves in Group C alongside Angola (three-time winners), Namibia (2015 champions), and Seychelles.

The tournament format ensures each team plays a minimum of three matches and a maximum of five. Pool games run from 26 June to 3 July, followed by the semifinals on 5 July. The final and third-place playoff will be held two days later. This structure allows for rest days between most group matches, prioritizing player well-being.

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