South Africa and Zambia will head off to the 2021 Africa Under-17 Cup of Nations this week in search of continental glory after qualifying for the event through the COSAFA Men’s Under-17 Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay last November.
South Africa have been placed in the proverbial Group of Death along with defending champions Cameroon, and the west African duo of Senegal and Mali.
Despite the daunting task, coach Vela Khumalo says they will be well-prepared and the contrasting styles with their three opponents could work in their favour.
“This has been our theme, we are well aware of the powerhouse football countries that we are faced with. But we just said to ourselves that they we can create history and we are looking forward to this group,” Khumalo tells The COSAFA Show.
“It is a plus to say they are big [in stature], we are a little bit smaller. It means we will use our speed more than anything. For me that is a plus and what will work for the team.
“Tactically we are superior and we understand what is expected. The boys understand everything and I am happy with where we are at the moment.”
Khumalo adds they have kept the bulk of the squad that helped them to the COSAFA title, but have lost some players to illness.
“We have kept 85% of those boys. Because of some illness we had to let go four of our players, which are in key positions, but we have substituted them with equally good players as well.”
Also in this episode, the CAF elective congress looms large on Friday and having heard from the male nominees for the various FIFA Council and CAF Exco seats last time out, we catch up with the two candidates contesting the seat that is open to a women’s representative.
Patricia Rajeriarison from Madagascar and Kanizat Ibrahim from Comoros are hopeful of winning a place on the exco and outline their vision should they be elected.