Africa

Bafana training session cancelled over SAFA blunder

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has revealed that his squad was unable to train on Monday as the South African Football Association (SAFA) didn’t book the Dobsonville Stadium.

SAFA lined up two friendlies during the September international break, with Broos’ side set to face Sierra Leone at the FNB Stadium on Saturday before taking on Botswana next Tuesday at the same venue.

However, Broos’ preparations got off to a miserable start after his players found themselves without facilities to train at on their first day together.

“I didn’t know we couldn’t train on the pitch today. If you ask me where are we going to train, I can’t answer you because we didn’t do it,” the Belgian tactician said in a press conference on Monday at the Dobsonville Stadium.

Stadium Management SA (SMSA) managing director Bertie Grobbelaar admitted that the ground had not been ready, although he claims it was because SA football’s governing body failed to book the stadium for Monday’s session.

Grobbelaar dismissed suggestions the pitch was in poor condition and added that SAFA had only booked the press conference two hours before it took place.

“Bafana booked Dobsonville on September 8 for the following training sessions: on September 20 [Tuesday] at 10 am and 4pm, September 21 [Wednesday] at 3pm and September 22 [Thursday] at 10am and 4pm. There was no training session booked for yesterday [Monday],” he said.

“I see there is a [media] report that there was something wrong with the pitch. There was nothing wrong with the pitch. The stadium wasn’t booked.

“SAFA requested a press conference for 3pm very late yesterday, which I approved. The request for the press conference came at 1pm. But the pitch wasn’t marked because the training session was today [Tuesday].

“You need to book well in advance, although we will do anything in our power to assist SAFA because we are partners with them. Bafana are our national team and we will go out of our way, but we’ve got four stadiums to manage.

“There are other events at stadiums we need to coordinate. There are plans with our pitch guys.”