• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

2026 World Cup Qualifiers: Injury-hit South Africa vow to upset Nigeria

Hugo=Broos

Ahead of the crucial 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Nigeria’s Super Eagles, South Africa head coach, Hugo Broos, is determined to book qualification for Bafana Bafana.

South Africa will face Nigeria in Uyo on Friday, June 7, 2024, before returning home to host Zimbabwe at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.

Speaking to the media in Soweto, as Bafana Bafana prepare to depart for Uyo via charter flight on Wednesday morning, Broos acknowledged the injuries to key players but expressed confidence that some may return to fitness in time for the match against Nigeria.

“We all saw the cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates in Mbombela over the weekend, so it’s no surprise we have injuries,” Broos said. “Grant Kekana left the camp this morning due to a hamstring injury and has been replaced by Given Msimango of Kaizer Chiefs.”

He added, “We also have injuries among Sundowns players like Khuliso Mudau and Ronwen Williams, among others. However, we are hopeful that after the medical department’s assessment, they will be fit. It’s still a concern, though.”
Travelling across Africa is challenging, with long flights and road journeys to remote locations.

“We are travelling to Nigeria by charter flight, thanks to a significant financial effort by SAFA to ensure we are rested and ready to face Nigeria on their home turf. I want to thank them immensely,” Broos added.

Bafana Bafana will take on Nigeria on Friday at 20:00 local time at Godswill Akpabio Stadium. They will return to South Africa on Saturday to prepare for their match against Zimbabwe on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.