Libya continue to play hide and seek with Bafana
Africa Cup of Nations qualifier will take place in Egypt or Tunisia because of a Fifa ban on Libya over security concerns
As expected‚ Libya have delayed announcing the venue — Tunisia or Egypt — for their final 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Bafana Bafana until the very last day on Friday.
The SA Football Association (Safa) has been frustrated in its efforts to prepare early logistically in terms of travel‚ hotel and training facilities for the qualifier on the weekend of March 22-24‚ where Bafana need a draw to reach Egypt 2019.
The match will be played in Egypt or Tunisia because of a Fifa ban on playing in Libya due to security concerns in Libya. And in a move that smacks of gamesmanship by the Libyans they have still not revealed the venue to Safa as Friday’s deadline approaches.
“No‚ no we are still waiting” Safa president Danny Jordaan said on Wednesday. “They always had a choice either to play in Tunisia or to play in Egypt. And they have not told us.”
Jordaan would not be drawn on whether he felt this was down to gamesmanship by the Libyans.
“Well‚ for us‚ we should concentrate on getting our team together and winning this match. The fortunate part is that most of our players who have had long-term injuries are back‚” the president said.
Safa had intended sending Bafana team manager Barney Kujane on a fact-finding mission for suitable accommodation, travel and training arrangements, but was not able to.
Libya have played their two home games in Group E in Cairo‚ Egypt and Sfax‚ Tunisia. Nigeria have qualified for Afcon 2019 as Group E leaders with 10 points‚ with Seychelles left to play at home. SA are on nine points‚ and Libya seven. Bafana need a draw to qualify‚ and Libya a win.
The Nations Cup will be held in Egypt in June and July. Original hosts Cameroon were stripped of the competition over readiness issues.