COSAFA Mkhalele defends Bafana Bafana squad selection for COSAFA tournament

South Africa coach Helman Mkhalele defended his squad selection after announcing the final 23-member Bafana Bafana men’s squad for this year’s COSAFA Cup.

A few days ago, the Bafana Bafana assistant coach announced an enlarged 51-member preliminary squad for the regional tournament to be held in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape, from 26 June – 7 July 2024.

He trimmed the group to 23 players, and he said the technical team views the COSAFA Cup as a great opportunity to increase the Bafana Bafana database by giving the side the exposure and international experience that will be required during the coming qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations, as well as the World Cup qualifiers.

“For us to be able to compete and achieve our results, our view is that it is important to have more players to select from, but more importantly, players with the required competency to perform at the highest level of football,” he said.

“As we observed during the Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d’Ivoire earlier this year, the football on the continent has improved drastically. So, for us to sustain the current performance of Bafana Bafana and improve it, it is important that we have players that can perform at that level without any doubt.”

The COSAFA Cup draw was conducted on Friday last week and Bafana Bafana were pitted against Botswana, Mozambique and Eswatini in Group A. The team will go into camp on Saturday, 22 June and then travel to Gqeberha on Sunday, 23 June 2024.

Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with

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