Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki says the implications of Covid-19 is the reason for his injury-ravaged squad ahead of the side’s Africa Cup of Nations double-header qualifiers against Sao Tome.
Bafana will host Sao Tome at Moses Mabhida Stadium on 13 November before facing the same side at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, as away side Bafana look to take a big step towards taking control of qualifying Group C.
Bradly Grobler was the most recent player to pull out of the squad adding another blow for Ntseki, who has already lost Thibang Phete, Thulani Serero, Andile Jali, Reeve Frosler and Thamsanqa Mkhize while Abubakar Mobara pulled out due to ‘medical reasons’.
‘This afternoon [Monday] after training we got some bad news about Bradley Grobler when he had to go for a scan. The scan results came back differently and we have lost Grobler in the team,’ Ntseki told Marawa Sport Worldwide on Metro FM.
‘The reason that all this is happening is because of Covid-19. Players started playing not at their best in terms of fitness levels. The games are becoming faster and physical and you have players mentally and emotionally getting involved in matches to win. We will see a lot of muscle problems because players did not have a proper pre-season to prepare themselves to go into the new season.
‘The last camp in Rustenburg was handy because after Bradley pulled out we are in Durban and we have Siyethemba Sithebe who was with us in Rustenburg,’ said Ntseki.
‘Siyethemba did very well. I did say something about Siyethemba and Thabo Nodada when I announced the team to say, look at the Bafana Bafana level, we compete for positions. At times you compete against some of the players who have been in the team before or those currently doing well at their respective clubs.
‘That is why the likes of Siyethemba and Nodada were left out but the unfortunate injuries to some of the players have given them an opportunity to be called up and they will be joining us in camp. Siyethemba will be joining us tomorrow afternoon after going through the Covid-19 tests.’
After two rounds of matches, South Africa are placed second in Group C led by Ghana with three points. Sao Tome anchor the standings, while Sudan are in position three.
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