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Injury blow for Banyana ahead of African Championship
- Updated: October 25, 2012
Banyana Banyana’s 2012 CAF African Women Championship campaign will have to continue without the services of injured midfielder Yola Jafta, but her return to South Africa has only made the 20 players remaining in camp more determined to succeed.
Jafta has had to fly back home after Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza consulted with the medical staff on whether the University of Johannesburg (Sasol League Gauteng) player’s injured hamstring would recover in time for action at the African tournament.
The Sasol-sponsored Banyana Banyana open their CAF African Women Championship 2012 schedule of Group A matches, against hosts Equatorial Guinea on Sunday, 28 October 2012.
ÔÇ£We have looked at our options and decided not to call for a replacement, so we will choose our starting line up from the 20 players available,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.
ÔÇ£Injuries have plagued Jafta this year, and we all know she was also sidelined from a few camps in the build up to the London Olympics, but we wish her well in her recovery and look forward to monitoring her form at Sasol League club level for possible call-ups to future national team camps.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£The players were disappointed when we told them that Jafta had to return home. She hasn’t been able to train this week due to the injury, and we had to make a call in the interest of the team and our goal of doing well at the CAF African Women Championship 2012,ÔÇØ added Mkhonza.
The Banyana Banyana medical team is also keeping a close eye on Cape Town Roses (Sasol League Western Cape) midfielder Nocawe Skiti who is battling with tonsillitis.
ÔÇ£Injuries and sickness are part of the game, and some of the challenges which the players often face impact on the strategies of coaches, but Safa and Sasol need to be thanked for allowing Banyana Banyana to train together since the start of October in Johannesburg, including a five-day camp in hot, humid conditions in Yaound├®, Cameroon,ÔÇØ said Mkhonza.
Following their Group A match against Equatorial Guinea, Banyana Banyana will face Senegal in Malabo on 31 October, and will travel to Bata for their encounter with DR Congo on 3 November.
The semi-finals will take place in either Malabo or Bata on 7 November, with the third/fourth place playoff and the title decider both scheduled for Malabo on 11 November.
Banyana Banyana were beaten by Equatorial Guinea in the semi-finals of the CAF African Women Championship 2010, held in Ekurhuleni, near Johannesburg ÔÇô a result which cost the South Africans the chance of playing at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011.
Mkhonza’s team will be looking to set the record straight against the tournament hosts in Malabo.