Egypt's Olympic decision upsets South Africa coach

Eslam Omar, Monday 22 Aug 2011

Bafana Bafana coach reacts to Egyptian FA's decision to field their Olympic squad for the remaining two African Nations Cup qualifiers

Bafana Bafana manager Mosimane (Photo: Reuters)

South African coach Pitso Mosimane announced that he is disappointed over the decision by the Egyptian Football Association (EFA) to play the two remaining 2012 African Cup of Nations qualifiers with the Olympic squad.

“It really doesn't affect us much because even if they were using their strongest side we still have a job to do for ourselves, we still have to win our matches,” Mosimane said in a press conference on Monday.

“The bottom line is that qualifying for the 2012 African tournament is in our hands, irrespective of what the others teams do. We have to beat Niger and Sierra Leone to make sure we qualify, we don't need any favours from anyone because in any case we have been top of our group since the beginning of the qualifiers,” Mosimane added.

The African champions will send the under-23 squad to the Group G games against Sierra Leone as they stand no chance of qualifying for the 2012 tournament in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The EFA explained that “it’s a good preoperational campaign for the under-23 boys.”

South Africa top the group with eight points from their four games, while Niger have six points, Sierra Leone are on five points. Egypt have two points.

“But at the same time it is amazing and disappointing at how Egypt looks at the African qualifiers with two matches to go. We are talking about the Kings of Africa here, where's the pride of Egypt?

“We don't want to discredit their under-23 squad, but sending them to Freetown and then to host Niger looks like a donation of six points.

“Niger and Sierra Leone have to face us so we will fight for our six points, we must just focus on what we have to do, and I believe we can get those points in those two matches,” the coach said.

“Egypt has a good crop of talented players who gave us a tough time in our two matches against them, so it surprises me that they have been left out even though the FA says its rebuilding its aging side,” Mosimane said.

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