BRAZIL LINE UP FRIENDLY

The South African national team will be playing a friendly match against five-time world champion Brazil. The South African Football Association confirmed this news at a recent press conference.

Brazil for qualified for the World Cup 2014 as the host nation for the competition. As a result, they will be not having the usual preparation in the form of the World Cup qualifiers. They have been playing a number of friendly matches against high-profile teams such as Fernando Torres‘s Spain and Lionel Messi‘s Argentina and also upcoming games in order to judge their squad for this major tournament. Brazil are undoubtedly one of the favourites to win the tournament itself.

South Africa were the host of the last World Cup in 2010. This will be travelling to São Paulo in order to face Brazil on 7 September 2012. It is not the first time the South African national team will be taking on the Brazilians. The two teams have already met each other back in 2009 during the FIFA Confederations Cup. Only a Daniel Alves helped Brazil win the match after some stern defending from South Africa. It will be a different Brazil team they will be facing this time around, as the coach has been using a number of young players as preparation for the World Cup.

“We are honoured to be playing Brazil in their backyard as they seldom play friendly matches at home. To us this is a big coup considering it will probably be the first official match for the new Bafana Coach whom we will announce at the end of this month. We are very delighted to announce that we have just received the final confirmation because we have been working on this match for the last six months,” said the chief executive of the South African Football Association, Dr Petersen.

STILL GOT IT

Orlando Pirates striker Benni McCarthy’s brace in the match against Golden Arrows proved that he still has a lot to offer at the top level of the game and also it showed the South African national team manager that he was wrong to leave him out of the World Cup 2014 qualifiers squad.

The 34-year-old Benni McCarthy is widely regarded to be the greatest striker for South Africa, but the South African national football team manager Pitso Mosimane decided to leave him out for the qualifying matches. The national team will be looking to make their appearance in only their second World Cup after performing extremely well in the home World Cup two years ago.

The 4-2 win over Golden Arrows ensured that Orlando Pirates won the title that will give them the opportunity to play their hands on the prize money of $ 1.3 million. Benni McCarthy scored two goals in the second half of the match to once again criticise the decision to leave him out of the squad. South Africa did not do well in the latest African cup of nations after they scored only four goals in the six matches, which has led to calls for inclusion of the stars like Benni McCarthy and Siyabonga.

“Benni might have had his differences with some national football association officials in the past, but he has been a reformed character playing at Pirates this season. S have found him to be a model footballer who is disciplined and trains hard. It is all very well saying South Africa must find players for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, but first you have to get there,” said the manager of Orlando Pirates – Augusto Palacios – after winning the title. Benni McCarthy has 31 goals in 79 appearances for South Africa.

FIFA INVESTIGATES MATCH FIXING

The South African Football Association has announced that it would be welcoming the FIFA delegation that is set to conduct an investigation into the alleged match fixing leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

There have been intense speculation that the South African national football team was involved in match fixing of the four friendlies leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

As a result, the FIFA delegation has been sent to South Africa in order to conduct an investigation. The South African Football Association President Kirsten Nematandani announced that he would be welcoming the FIFA delegation, and will be offering any help in their work.

One of the matches being investigated by the FIFA delegation will be the 2-1 victory of the South African national team over the Colombian National team.

A number of penalties were involved in the match, which is suspected to have come about as a result of suspicious activity in match fixing. Just before the match, the South African football team was involved in a 5-0 victory over Guatemala. They also were involved in a draw with Bulgaria and beat Thailand. These three victories and one draw has been under study by FIFA for quite some time now.

“We have complete confidence in the integrity and thoroughness of the Fifa process, and will assist in whatever way we can to get to the truth. We would also like to emphasise that Safa is not, at this stage, undertaking a parallel process, either internally or through an independent body. We trust that all parties will respect the Fifa process and allow it to reach its logical conclusion,” Safa CEO Tobin Petersen said in a recent interview. FIFA has said that they will have access to all the records of the South African Football Association.

INJURY HITS SOUTH AFRICANS

The South African national football team – Bafana Bafana – will be without up to 4 players for their crucial match between Ghana.

The national football team coach is set to be without four important players for this crucial match, which will take place in Zambia. The match will take place on January 15, and is expected to draw a huge number of fans. Nazeer Allie and Reneilwe Letsholonyane have already been ruled out of this match and the latest injury crisis will certainly be a major sore point for the Bafana Bafana fans.

“We are getting thinner and thinner, but at the same time we are becoming stronger with every training session. We will monitor George and see how it goes with him. On the other hand we welcome back Granwald Scott, who missed Wednesday’s encounter due to injury,” said the Bafana Bafana manager Pitso Mosimane.

Pitso Mosimane not only has the huge injury crisis ahead of him, but also the prospect of facing one of the best teams in Africa – Ghana. Ghana, together with Ivory Coast, are one of the favourites to win the 2012 African cup of nations. They will be providing a formidable opposition for South Africa in their efforts to win the title.

Captain Letsholonyane’s absence from the team means that Bloemfontein Celtic captain Thabo Nthete will be leading the team for this match. The Bafana Bafana completed their most recent training camp in a successful fashion and Nthete expressed confidence in the fact that they will be able to take that form into the match against Ghana.

It has been revealed by the South African football Federation said that 20,000 tickets will be available for this match. Nthete was part of the South African football team that was in a training camp prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.