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SA SOCCER NEWS

Durban dampener for Bafana


It was the first training session at which the the entire 23-man Bafana Bafana African Nations Cup squad was assembled, but Durban's seasonal monsoon rainfall provided a dampener for coach Carlos Albert Parreira's preparation at Chatsworth Stadium on Wednesday.

"It was hardly ideal conditions," said SAFA media officer Sifiso Cele, "but happily there was nothing untoward as a result of the persistent rain - and no injuries were reported to mar the proceedings."

Ironically, Bafana have moved camp to Durban in order to acclimitise to the anticipated heatwave in Ghana during the Nations Cup, but so far the conditions have been more like Manchester than in the West African nation.

Bafana are planning for warm-up games against Mozambique at Chatsworth Stadium on Sunday (4pm) and Botswana at the same venue on Wednesday (6pm), before departing for Ghana next Friday evening for their initial first-round game against Angola.

The Angola game takes place on Wednesday, January 23, with Bafana completing their programme in a tricky first round against Tunisia and Senegal.

The Bafana group from which two teams go forward to the Nations quarter-finals is the only one of four in which all the countries have qualified for the World Cup finals at one time or another - with Senegal equalling Cameroon's record as the only African teams to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

Cele revealed that Parreira would give the players a pass to leave camp for 24 hours immediately prior to the squad's departure for Ghana - "to say goodbye to family and friends and complete any other personal business before turning their attention firmly to the Nations Cup".

"Naturally," added the SAFA media officer, "all trips will be sanctioned by agreement and the players will be expected to return to camp in the same condition as they departed."

SAPA

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February 13
Absa Premiership:
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KO: 7.30pm
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