Ntseki defends situation around Bafana’s kit drama in last camp
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Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has defended the debacle and drama that surrounded the launch of the new Bafana Bafana kit when they played Zambia and Namibia in international friendlies last month.
But Ntseki agrees that such shenanigans should not tarnish the image of the national team again.
Bafana and the South African Football Association (Safa) were left with a huge egg on their face when they rocked up with the incomplete material of their new technical sponsors Le Coq Sportif. The French company has replaced Nike as the dressers of all SA’s national football teams.
Ntseki and his assistant‚ Arthur Zwane‚ were seen wearing Bafana’s green jackets that were patched up with black tape where the logo of the old sponsors used to be in the match against Zambia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
That Bafana went on to lose the match 2-1 added to fury of the fans‚ who also called for Ntseki to resign.
South Africans blasted Safa and their new sponsors on social media platforms for not respecting the national team by ensuring everything was in place before the launch of the new jersey.
But Ntseki tried to play down the issue‚ saying what happened was beyond the control of the association and its new sponsors‚ but added it should not be allowed to happen again.
“I think before every camp we have a pre-camp meeting where we talk about challenges and where we need to minimise whatever problems‚” said Ntseki‚ whose team are now looking better kitted in Durban ahead of the first of two Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe on Friday night.
“We do address each other in terms of departments and what needs to happen in the camp itself. So we went into the camp [last month] fully aware of the challenges when it comes to the technical sponsor because of corona [the coronavirus pandemic].
“This matter should have been addressed back in March. We were to use the new technical sponsor’s kit way back in terms of our Fifa weeks but because of corona everything was in a way disturbed and we had to start afresh.
“Yes we were aware that we might experience problems when it came to the technical sponsor for the friendlies but it was also more of a first match to use Le Coq Sportif‚ which will be our technical sponsor for the next five years.
“So not all the items were delivered on time for us to have everything covered in the last friendly matches and in our post-camp we sat down and discussed all the challenges and where we needed to apologise‚ we’ve done so.”
Ntseki promised that in the two Afcon qualifiers against Sao Tome‚ on Friday night and in the Port Elizabeth on Monday‚ there will be no issues with the new kit as Safa has sorted out all that needed to be fixed.
“In our next matches some other items will be in place because we don’t want a repeat of what happened [in Rustenburg] in the last camp.
“We are giving ourselves an opportunity to sort out all the challenges and be positive going into this next camp.”
Bafana have to beat the minnows Sao Tome in both matches to have a greater chance of making it to the 2022 Afcon in Cameroon.
Ghana and Sudan complete Bafana’s Group C that will have two top finishers qualifying for next year’s continental showpiece.
The Black Stars‚ who beat Bafana 2-0 in the first match last year‚ will look to extend their three-point lead at the top with another win‚ which would be a third in a row‚ at home against the Sudanese tomorrow.