Africa Cup of Nations: South Africa wait on passports for players


Stuart Baxter is in his second stint as South Africa coach

South Africa coach Stuart Baxter has named a provisional squad of 30 players to prepare for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

He is hoping to add two more South Africa-born players, Nikola Tavares and Joel Untersee, to the list if they are issued with their passports.

Crystal Palace youth team player Tavares, 20, currently has a Croatian passport while FC Zurich defender Untersee, 25, has a Swiss one.

Both have played at youth level for their adoptive countries but can swap national allegiances.

Baxter added that he would be going to see the Home Affairs ministry to see if he can help speed up the process.

He will have to trim the squad down to 23 before 11 June, which is the deadline for submissions.

The provisional squad includes seven players from champions Mamelodi Sundowns and three from runners-up Orlando Pirates, whose midfielder Thembinkosi Lorch was named the best player of the season in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League at their weekend award ceremony.

Pirates’ other midfield candidates Ben Motshwari is the only uncapped player – along with Tavares and Untersee.

Only nine of the Bafana Bafana squad are foreign-based with the rest from the Premier Soccer League.

Keegan Dolly, who broke his leg earlier in the season in action for Montpellier in France, will play in the Cosafa Cup from June 1-7 to get much-needed game time at his own request, Baxter said.

South Africa are sending the under-23 team to the regional tournament in Durban.

The squad will leave on June 12 for Dubai, where they play two friendlies, one against Ghana with the other opponents yet to be confirmed.

They are set to arrive in Egypt on 16 June a week before their opening Group D match against the Ivory Coast in Cairo, they will also play Morocco and Namibia.

South Africa provisional squad:

Goalkeepers: Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs), Darren Keet (Bidvest Wits), Rowen Williams (SuperSport United)

Defenders: Daniel Cardoso (Kaizer Chiefs), Rivaldo Coetzee (Mamelodi Sundowns), Sifiso Hlanti, Thulani Hlatshwayo (both Bidvest Wits), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Thamsanqa Mkhize (Cape Town City), Buhle Mkhwanazi (Bidvest Wits), Ramahlwe Mphahlele (Kaizer Chiefs)

Midfielders: Keagan Dolly (Montpellier, France), Dean Furman (SuperSport United), Hlompho Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns), Thembinkosi Lorch (Orlando Pirates), Tiyani Mabunda (Mamelodi Sundowns), Fortune Makaringe (Maritzburg United), Kamohelo Mokotjo (Brentford, England), Ben Motshwari (Orlando Pirates), Thulani Serero (Vitesse Arnhem, Netherlands), Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongani Zungu (Amiens, France)

Forwards: Kermit Erasmus (Cape Town City), Lebogang Maboe (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lebo Mothiba (Racing Strasbourg, France), Percy Tau (Royal Union St Gilloise, Belgium), Lars Veldwijk (Sparta Rotterdam, Netherlands), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Standby: Nikola Tavares (Crystal Palace, England), Joel Untersee (FC Zurich, Switzerland).


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