Rumble in the jungle. South African World Cup dream takes a hit as the Bafana Bafana are forced to move training camp due to it… not being ready in time!
Imagine a host nation for a major global sporting event failing to
secure best training facilities at its backyard.
South Africa, the host of 2010 football World Cup has just done that
for its squad, the Bafana Bafana.
According to a string of stories in local football websites, Bafana
Bafana was on Sunday forced to change its World Cup training base from Esselen Park School of Excellence, near Johannesburg to Sandown High School.
Football authorities “discovered” Sunday that the Esselen Park School
of Excellence is badly run down and a massive 16 million rands (1.5 million €) would be required to renovate.
According to articles, South African Football Association (SAFA) CEO
Leslie Sedibe in along side coach Alberto Parreira inspected the
facilities on Sunday.
Sedibe had no kind words saying the situation is “embarrassing”.
“We knew in May 2004 that we would host the 2010 World Cup. Therefore it was expected that SAFA would secure the best available training camp as we are playing at home. But we did not and now we are asking why, and what went wrong?”
“What we have found out is that nothing was done and frankly it is a
big embarrassment to us as World Cup hosts that we have to settle for
second best. Here we are the host nation being the last team to secure
a training base for our team”, Sidibe is quoted saying.
Reports say even if the R16 million needed to renovate the venue is
secured now, the upgrades cannot be made in time before the squad
begins training at home in May ahead of Bafana’s opening World Cup
match against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11.
The change of base four months before the kick off would further fuel
speculation on South Africa’s readiness.
Today, England coach Fabio Capello could be in for a shock when he
arrives in South Africa for a pre-World Cup coaches conference on
While he is in the country Capello is expected to examine the playing
surfaces and facilities at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus his team’s
2010 Soccer World Cup training base.