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Africa Cup of Nations

Afcon: Stuart Baxter lifts lid on Bafana Bafana's lack of Afcon warm-up matches

23:22 GMT+4 05/06/2019
Stuart Baxter
Bafana's only confirmed warm-up match so far is against Ghana, and Baxter isn't pleased about some aspects of his side's preparation

Coach Stuart Baxter has expressed disappointment at the fact that South Africa is struggling to secure international friendly matches ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Egypt

The 65-year-old mentor admitted that chances of playing more than one Afcon warm-up friendly before the start of the continental tournament are almost non-existent. 

However, Baxter vowed to do all he can to make sure that Bafana get enough matches under their belt, adding that his charges need competitive matches to be ready for the tournament. 

"Unfortunately, we've got no definite plans as yet. We're still trying but it's looking a little bit forlorn," Baxter told the media.

"I'll go until the last minute because I think we need it.

"It's too much last minute. It's just not happening. I'm supposing that if we were to pay for three days at a hotel for any of the Cosafa Cup teams, flying them up in first-class, we'd get people wanting to play.

"But for the conditions that we've got, at the last minute, I think it's probably not too interesting for them."

Bafana Bafana have a friendly match lined up against Ghana some time next week although the date for the encounter is yet to be confirmed. 

Baxter revealed that Uganda and Angola were some of the teams that they have been in talks with, but admitted that they have been struggling to find suitable dates for the two matches. 

"We've got Ghana, that's definite. We've had Uganda who we've been struggling to find a date with. We've got Angola who are interested to play against us and we're trying to find a date, either in Dubai or after we land in Egypt," added Baxter.

Baxter will announce his final 23-man squad before Bafana leave for Dubai on June 10. 

Bafana Bafana have been drawn in Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.

South Africa will begin their Afcon campaign against Cote d'Ivoire in Cairo, before meeting Namibia and Morocco as they look to reach the knockout stages.