CHAN not glamorous for Chiefs?
23 October 2013, 20:01
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund intends to utilise the upcoming African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament as a way forward following the national team’s disappointing campaign in the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers.
South Africa will host the four week tournament in January next year.
Igesund, 57, is most likely to face another tough task as far as the club versus country disputes are concerned, as it has been the case since taking over the country’s football hot seat in July last year.
Bafana have played a number of matches recently without the services of the Orlando Pirates players due to their participation in the CAF Champions League.
At some stage, Igesund was forced to replace those players with players of other teams due to the Buccaneers' refusal to release them for national duties.
On Wednesday, reports speculated that Kaizer Chiefs are unlikely to release their players for the CHAN tournament as it does not fall under the FIFA calendar.
Speaking exclusively to Sport24, Chiefs Corporate and Communications manager, Vina Maphosa, said that the Glamour Boys are currently focusing on Saturday’s Soweto derby against their perennial rivals Pirates.
Maphosa also hinted that the club is yet to receive an official letter of request, regarding their player's availability, from SAFA.
"It’s premature to talk about the CHAN tournament at this stage because we are busy preparing for the derby to be played on Saturday." Maphosa told Sport24.
"SAFA are yet to draft a letter of request regarding the players needed for the tournament."
"So we will talk about it when it approaches," he added.
South Africa was drawn in Group A together with Mali, Nigeria and neighbours Mozambique.
Bafana will open the tournament games against Mozambique at the Cape Town stadium on January 11.
The final is scheduled to be played on February 1.