Cosafa Cup: Igesund makes squad changes as withdrawals affect Bafana

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund. (AFP)

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund. (AFP)

The changes were necessitated after clubs withdrew players.

"I've had a very tough time over [the] last five days trying to get the squad together," Igesund said on Tuesday.

"This is not a Fifa weekend or a Fifa tournament and all the clubs had the right to withdraw players.

"We had a squad of 20, and nine players withdrew."

Igesund said the clubs had every right not to make players available for the southern region tournament. "I've had great co-operation from all the teams. For whatever reasons, the clubs have withheld their players, and I support that."

"I don' t think the clubs have to justify themselves for withdrawing."

Igesund felt his side could still compete at the tournament, despite travelling with a second-string contingent.

"I'm quite happy with the changes that have been made.

"We want to be competitive and it's a great opportunity for young players."

Bafana hit by the withdrawals
Kaizer Chiefs said last week they would not release the five Amakhosi players selected by Igesund.

Siphiwe Tshabalala, Bernard Parker, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Tefu Mashamaite and Eric Mathoho were all withdrawn by the league champions.

Bafana, already without the services of Orlando Pirates players due to the Buccaneers' continental commitments, were also hit by the withdrawals of two SuperSport United players – goalkeeper Ronwen Williams and striker Kermit Erasmus – in preparation of the Pretoria outfit's high-profile friendly against English giants Manchester City on July 14.

That match will be played a day before South Africa's Cosafa Cup opener, a quarterfinal against a yet undecided opponent.

SuperSport however have allowed Igesund to retain the services of defender Bevan Fransman.

Bloemfontein Celtic defender Thabo Nthethe, who was to captain the squad, and Mamelodi Sundowns defender Tebogo Langerman were also removed from the initial squad.

Squad
In their places, Igesund called up goalkeeper Siyabonga Mpontshane, defenders Sibusiso Khumalo, Musa Bilankulu, Lehlohonolo Nomyane and Buhle Mkhwanazi, midfielders Lerato Chabangu, Sibusiso Msomi and Lance Davids, and striker William Twala.

Bafana squad: Goalkeepers: Siyabonga Mpontshane, Wayne Sandilands.

Defenders: Bevan Fransman, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Sibusiso Khumalo, Musa Bilankulu, Lehlohonolo Nomyane, Buhle Mkhwanazi, Tshepo Gumede.

Midfielders: Luyolo Nomandela, Lerato Chabangu, Sibusiso Msomi, Hlompho Kekana, Lance Davids, Jabu Shongwe, Ruzaigh Gamildien.

Strikers: Katlego Mashego, William Twala, Lebogang Manyama, Thabani Mthembu. 

The Cosafa Cup tournament will be held in Zambia later this month.– Sapa

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