The South African Football Association hope to beat the potential disruptions which the use of commercial flights might pose during their tight schedule of AFCON 2015 qualifiers by utilizing charter aircraft, SAFA president Danny Jordaan has said.
SAFA has secured a 100-seat charter flight to fly Bafana Bafana for the Sudan match which is scheduled for Khartoum on 5 September, five days before the 2013 hosts and 1996 winners take on reigning champions Nigeria on 10 September in Cape Town as reported by cafonline.com.
During the draw on 27 April at CAF headquarters in Cairo, CAF president Issa Hayatou told CAF member nations in the final group phase of qualifying that the new schedule of qualifiers presented federations with the opportunity to step up their planning and organisational capabilities, stressing then that long-term preparation was important for teams in order to avoid potential pitfalls.
The first two matches of the race to Morocco 2015 take place this weekend (September 5th and 6th) and 10th September (next week Wednesday) with many teams criss-crossing the continent to fulfil their fixtures.
SAFA chief Jordaan said: “We had to be proactive with such a hectic schedule, which require teams to play back-to-back matches. Knowing how unreliable flights on the continent can be, we didn’t want to disadvantage our team by at times spending hours in transit to our destination or on the way back home. In this case, we decided that we get into the country where we play away matches and get into the plane straight after the match.”
“It allows players not to be frustrated by spending long hours in transit at airports. Getting a chartered plane will also help us travel with a considerable number of supporters – which is critical in away matches,” said Jordaan.
For the match against Sudan, the South African national team will leave their shores on 3 September, play on 5 September and return soon after the game; arriving in South Africa in the early hours of 6 September.
“The team will fly straight to Cape Town and start preparations for the Nigeria game. That is how we intend to beat fatigue and inconvenience for all our away games,” added Jordaan.
Meanwhile Nigeria’s opponents in Saturday’s 2015 AFCON qualifier, DR Congo are yet to communicate with the Nigeria Football Federation about their travel plans, but they are expected to at least arrive on Thursday, 4 September, 48 hours before the game at the UJ Eusene Stadium, Calabar.