Bafana ready to kick-off CHAN tourney although rankings won't be affected!

Safa face the sombre realisation that the tournament, which starts in Cape Town on Saturday, offers little chance for the country to improve its lowly 62nd world ranking.

Fifa has confirmed that the tournament – in which only home-based players are eligible – is not recognised by the world body and ranking points awarded will be based on games being regarded as friendly internationals. This applies to all Bafana’s fixtures. In other words even if Bafana wins the tournament the 62nd world ranking will remain relatively unchanged.

But worse still, the Fifa ranking system leaves Bafana precariously placed and pursuing what is tantamount to a hiding, with failure in CHAN resulting in a further slide down the ladder.

Any defeat suffered by Bafana in the tournament will result in no ranking points being awarded for the fixture – bringing down the percentage of points for games over the stipulated period of four years even further.

Bafana’s prospects of securing points in CHAN are also diluted by the fact that most of the nations participating are modestly placed in the ranking process – and points earned are dependant on the strength of the opposition.

The best scenario open to Bafana is to win the tournament and beat Ghana, at 24th the highest ranked side, somewhere along the way.

But ironically, even this eventuality would gain only a marginal improvement to Bafana’s ranking.

However, Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says it remains vital to cement a winning culture in CHAN, provide valuable experience in team-building and gain the measure of prestige in Africa that success will achieve.

Also, the recently elected regime at Safa under Danny Jordaan want the tournament to boost its credibility with a success on home soil.

Bafana open the tournament against Mozambique on Saturday at 6pm, with the other teams in the group, Nigeria and Mali, completing a double header programme at 8pm.

Other fixtures: Group A

11/01/14 Mali vs  Nigeria

15/01/14 South Africa vs  Mali

15/01/14 Nigeria vs  Mozambique

19/01/14 Nigeria vs  South Africa

19/01/14 Mozambique vs  Mali

GROUP B

12/01/14 Zimbabwe vs  Morocco

12/01/14 Uganda vs  Burkina Faso

16/01/14 Zimbabwe vs  Uganda

16/01/14 Burkina Faso vs  Morocco

20/01/14 Morocco vs  Uganda

20/01/14 Burkina Faso vs  Zimbabwe

GROUP C                                         

13/01/14 Ghana vs  Congo

13/01/14 Libya vs  Ethiopia

17/01/14 Ghana vs  Libya

17/01/14 Ethiopia vs  Congo

21/01/14 Ethiopia vs  Ghana

21/01/14 Congo vs  Libya

GROUP D

14/01/14 DR Congo vs  Mauritania

14/01/14 Gabon vs  Burundi

18/01/14 DR Congo vs  Gabon

18/01/14 Burundi vs  Mauritania

22/01/14 Burundi vs  DR Congo

22/01/14 Mauritania vs  Gabon

Games will be played at the following cities Cape Town, Bloemfontein and Polokwane, respectively.

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