CHAN2014: Nigeria may face depleted Hosts, South Africa

Host country, South Africa may be able to field only a weakened side when the African Nations Championships kicks off in Cape Town next January.

The South African League, the PSL, will restart immediately at the end of the Championship group stages, and SA coach, Gordon Igesund is facing a team selection dilemma as most clubs will be reluctant to release their players.

CHAN is a CAF tournament contested by local players, but is not recognised by Fifa and clubs are not obliged to release their players.

Previously, the so-called South African development squad – or Amabinneplaas – was used, consisting of bench warmers from various PSL clubs as well as players from the lower leagues.

But now, as hosts, a lot will be expected from South Africa, and coach Igesund will be expected to assemble a team good enough to win the competition.

The tournament kicks off on January 11 with South Africa vs Mozambique in Cape Town.

The PSL will be only in recess until Thursday, January 23, and if South Africa make it past the group stages they could be in action until February 1.

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