HomeSliderWarriors’ loss, Bafana’s gain

Warriors’ loss, Bafana’s gain

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BY TERRY MADYAUTA
ZIMBABWE’S disqualification from participating in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers may have just opened a window of opportunity for South Africa to gain easy passage to the tourney, which will be staged in Ivory Coast.

On Monday, the Confederation of African Football has announced that Zimbabwe, along with Kenya, will not take part in the 2023 Afcon qualifiers.

The announcement has all but proven to be a blessing to South African football faithful, who are now hoping for an easy passage to the tournament since Zimbabwe are now out of the mix.

Bafana Bafana missed the tournament in Cameroon early this year.

The Warriors were disqualified as a result of the Gerald Mlotshwa-led Sports and Recreation Commission’s failure to satisfy Fifa’s demands of reinstating the Felton Kamambo-led board before the suspension is lifted.

SRC Chairman Gerald Mlotshwa

This issue has been a sticking point for the last seven months when the board was suspended.

For the qualifiers, the Warriors had been drawn in Group K along with neighbours South Africa, Liberia and Morocco.

Group K now has the three nations battling for the two spots at next year’s tournament.

On paper, South Africa have what looks like a formidable side that has been well oiled since Hugo Broos was appointed head coach.

And with Zimbabwe now out of the picture, South Africa are confident of making light work of Liberia, who seem to be the lightweights in group K.

The Broos-led outfit will also hope to avoid defeat against Morocco, who are the clear favourites to top the group looking at the Fifa rankings.

As it stands, they are placed 69th in the latest Fifa rankings, Morocco are 24th and Liberia are 149th.

Bafana’s qualification campaign starts with their match against Morocco in Rabat on June 9.

South African media yesterday described the Warriors’ disqualification as a boost for Bafana.

Zimbabwe is the only southern African country that made it to the last three finals.

  • Follow Terry on Twitter @madyautatpm

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