28 March 2013

South Africa: Igesund to Attend Afcon Symposium

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund will participate in a symposium in Cairo, from 11 to 13 May, to analyse the last two editions of the Africa Cup of Nations. Equatorial Guinea and Gabon hosted the 2012 tournament, while South Africa hosted this year's event.

The continental championships are held biannually. However, a decision was taken to move the tournament to odd-numbered years, so that it does not clash with the Fifa World Cup. The tournament in South Africa was the first of the odd-numbered events.

Igesund will be joined by the South African Football Association's Acting Technical Director, Fran Hilton-Smith, in Cairo.


The head coaches of all the countries that participated in the two editions have each been asked to make short presentations on the performance of their teams and share their experiences. They will also share their views about the technical trends in the development of the game in Africa.

"This is a great opportunity for us as a country to share ideas with other national teams and federations especially with a lot of emphasis on the development of the sport on the continent," Igesund said in a statement.

"Such opportunities, in which great soccer minds come together in the same room, don't come along more often. Hence I intend to make the best of this trip.

'World beaters'

"There is great talent on this continent but it just needs to be nurtured in the correct way and some day we will become world beaters," he added.

"If you look closely, most of the players from this continent are making massive contributions in big leagues around the world; the likes of Steven Pienaar (England - South Africa); Yaya Toure (England - Cote d'Ivoire); Emmanuel Adebayo (England - Togo); Michael Essien (Spain - Ghana); Alex Song (Spain - Cameroon), to mention but a few, so this debate could not have come at a more ideal moment."

SA improvement

With Igesund in charge, Bafana Bafana climbed 25 places after Afcon 2013 and now occupy 60th place in the Fifa World Rankings.

In their most recent match, a 2014 Fifa World Cup qualifier against the Central African Republic in Cape Town on 23 March, they won 2-0.

South Africa's next games are scheduled to be away matches against the CAR and Ethiopia in June.

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