HARARE — Bafana Bafana’s one and only training session at Rufaro Stadium in Harare failed to take place after the floodlights went off during the squad’s warm-up routine on Monday night.
Efforts by stadium management to get the lights back on failed as Bafana finished their warm-up session and waited patiently on the sidelines as lights came back on briefly, only to go out again after a few seconds.
Even the intervention of head coach Pitso Mosimane to speak to officials at the stadium yielded no results and he had to call off the session without players kicking the ball.
The lights did come back on as the players were getting into the bus, but it is not clear how long they lasted. The Zimbabwe national team arrived as the Bafana players were leaving the stadium for their hotel.
“It is unfortunate that we could not train ahead of our match. Our players last trained before the clash against Ivory Coast in Port Elizabeth and also we have a new group that hasn’t played together in the national team.
“This has really hampered our preparations and we will have to sort everything out at the match, but we will soldier on,” said Mosimane. Poobie Govindasamy, the head of the South African delegation, was also very disappointed at the turn of events.
“The Zimbabwe Football Association has sent their apology and we accept it for this misfortune. But it is unacceptable as the lights should have been tested in good time.
I am told it was a mechanical fault and we have to accept that even though they deprived Bafana Bafana of their only training session. What is also worrying is that we haven’t played on this pitch before and this was our only chance to get the feel of it,” said Govindasamy.
Mosimane appointed defender Morgan Gould as captain of the team to face Zimbabwe. This will be the second time he does so after he led the side in a 1-0 victory over Tanzania in a friendly match earlier this year.