Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Bafana Bafana

Itumeleng Khune © Backpagepix

Bafana want Nigeria win for Madiba

Bafana Bafana captain Itumeleng Khune has called on his troops to win the Nelson Mandela Challenge against Nigeria on Wednesday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium to honour former President Mandela.

Bafana will play the reigning African champions in what should be an interesting clash at their favourite spot in Durban. Khune said it would not be acceptable to lose the Mandela Challenge for the second year running. Last year they succumbed to 2012 African champions Zambia at the FNB Stadium.

Khune said the players have a “huge responsibility to bring joy on Madiba’s face”. The former State President has been in hospital for the past two months and his health has been described as “critical but stable”.

The locals arrived in Durban on Monday morning and headed for some social responsibility commitments before addressing the media on their preparations. Only two players are yet to arrive in camp. Defender Anele Ngcongca and striker Tokelo Rantie are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday afternoon, while defender Bevan Fransman has been excused from camp as his wife has gone into labour.

Meanwhile, coach Gordon Igesund stressed the importance of the game, saying it was a “huge game” as Bafana always want to win against the Super Eagles. He said the match would also serve as preparation for their 2014 World Cup qualifier against Botswana next month.

With regards to withdrawals, Igesund said he factored that into his initial 28-man squad. He said there would always be players pulling out through injuries. Bafana had a light training session at People's Park on Monday afternoon and their opponents Nigeria were scheduled to train at King Zwelithini Stadium later that night.

"The team is never going to pick itself. The players have to go out there and perform week in and week out. That’s the precedent that we have set for the last year that I have been in charge. The players know that they have to go out there and perform. There’s no automatic choices and the players know that, they appreciated that and they are competitive," said Igesund.

The Bafana coach said each time he selected a squad he selected the best available players to ensure positive results.

"I have a very good squad here and I think a couple of players put their hands up in the Cosafa Cup tournament. They did very well there but that does not mean the ones who were not there are not going to play," he added.


More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Latest Video Highlights

Sports Talk

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Klopp keeps it simple
Two events show why the players have easily taken to what Jurgen Klopp is asking of them.

Dr Errol Sweeney
14-year-old ref racially abused
We are constantly told that football is the most popular sport in the world and, to a large extent,...

Sunday Oliseh
Coaching Eagles: What they won’t tell you
Two days after starting as chief coach of the Super Eagles of Nigeria a representative of a major...

Segun Odegbami
Nigeria needs something valid to celebrate
The Adokie Amiesimaka Stadium erupted in an orgy of celebration after Nigeria beat Swaziland 2-0.