South Africa coach Molefi Ntseki admits selecting his first national team squad after lockdown will be a challenge with so little information about form and fitness to go on.
Bafana Bafana are hoping to play two friendly matches in the October FIFA window, with their first competitive fixtures slated for home and away clashes against Sao Tome e Principe in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in November.
Those will be the first competitive games played in a year, and with such little domestic football also on the go in the last six months, Ntseki is starved of information when trying to assemble his best squad.
“When we announced our squad to face Sao Tome [for the cancelled matches in March] we had all the information we needed to know what to expect from each player. They were playing regularly for their teams,” Ntseki tells The COSAFA Show.
“Now it is a difficult situation for us because we have not seen much of them. The only ones we have really seen are the locally-based players in the PSL.
“For those overseas, we have a programme that gives us information about our players that are based abroad, which is very much of help to us.
“Most of them will be starting their leagues from August onwards, and this gives us information about their minutes and how they are doing for their clubs.
“But when it comes to the next FIFA week, it will be very difficult. We have obviously been watching players in the PSL, but if we were to select now it would be based on what we have seen following the resumption of football just a few weeks ago.
“We just hope those playing abroad will have enough minutes under their belt to warrant a call-up to the national team.”
You can hear Ntseki go into much more detail about his plans and challenges coming up for Bafana Bafana on The COSAFA Show.
There is also a fascinating interview with CAF General Secretary Abdelmounaïm Bah about his organisation’s plans for the post COVID-19 lockdown period and what he sees in the future for African football.
And we speak to the technical director of the Mauritius Football Association, South African Zunaid Mall, about his plans for football in that country.