/ 7 November 2007

Parreira: ‘Use common sense’ on Bafana

Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has called for common sense to prevail in the quest to build a winning team for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The Brazilian named two squads for games against the United States and Canada on November 17 and 20 — but due to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) schedule, the local players he selected will arrive late at his training camp.

”This is not something I’m happy with … I think people should support the national team and they’re not,” he said on Wednesday. ”It makes it difficult for us to build a strong national team and I think common sense should come soon. We are the [World Cup] hosts, so they should think about that first.”

Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Thembinkosi Fanteni (Ajax Cape Town), Lerato Chabangu and Brent Carelse (both Mamelodi Sundowns) are some of the players who will join the Bafana Bafana camp only on November 15, two days before the game against the US.

”We’re in a World Cup and we’re the hosts. There are players that will play [for their clubs] on Wednesday [November 15] and then join us afterwards … this is not ideal preparation for us to play against a team like the US,” Parreira said.

The overseas players are expected to arrive in South Africa on November 13, while the Americans, who are expected to land on Sunday, will have a week’s training before they take on the hosts.

The Nelson Mandela Inauguration Cup, which is played every year in honour of South Africa’s first black president, is held on a date sanctioned by soccer’s governing body, Fifa, and the South African Football Association has invited the likes of France, Argentina and Egypt to face South Africa in this friendly Cup game.

”There is a schedule [of Fifa international dates] and they [the PSL and clubs] know about it, so they must work with us to build this team. I hope that we can get together and discuss with them what we want, because this is not good for anyone and we want to avoid this kind of conflict,” Parreira said.

”It’s a Fifa date and they know we want to use it, so it’s just a question of common sense. I’m sure everyone wants to see Bafana Bafana do well at the World Cup, so let’s work together.”

Parreira won the 1994 World Cup with Brazil in the US and believes the game against the Americans will help his team’s progress.

”Playing against a team of their calibre will help us improve. They gave Brazil a tough game when they played them, and they’re Concacaf champs, they beat Mexico,” he said. ”I think it will be a good game, a tough game, and we’ll see how well we do against them.”

The US team, also known as the Eagles, are ranked 18th in the world, while South Africa are 83rd. — Sapa