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African Nations Championship

Bafana Bafana coach Baxter waits on Caf for Masalesa availability

14:35 GMT+3 12/07/2017
Bafana Bafana, Stuart Baxter
The former Orlando Pirates man has been included in the Bafana squad for the 2018 African Nations Championship (Chan) qualifier against Botswana

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is still unaware whether or not he will be able to use Lehlohonolo Masalesa in the matches against Botswana, with the first-leg set for Saturday in Francistown.

“I must say up front that we have a slight challenge with Masalesa because he was initially contracted to an overseas club and he was not considered for selection,” Baxter told TimesLive.

Masalesa, who is a free agent, was on the books of Greek club AEL Larissa last season and he has since decided to part ways with them after the expiry of his contract at the end of last month.

"He has since become a free agent and now he is not attached to any team, which leaves a grey area as to whether he can play for us or not. We have consulted with the authorities and we should have an answer sooner rather than later,” he said.

As it stands, Baxter says they are just waiting for confirmation from the necessary authorities.

"Masalesa is in a little bit of limbo at the moment because we thought he couldn't be selected because he was a foreign-based player," he added.

"But now he is out of contract and in theory he is not a foreign-based player and we have the okay to select him," he stressed.

"We are waiting for confirmation from the authorities before we say that he is a definite member of the squad. The call has been made by me to take him but we are just waiting for that confirmation,” Baxter continued.

"He is a free agent, but we don't want to put our eggs in one basket and then later forfeit the game because we did not have the conformation in writing,” Baxter concluded.