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MBABANE – As South Africa (SA) Coach Hugo Broos will not be in charge of Bafana Bafana during the COSAFA tournament, his assistant Helman Mkhalele has been disqualified.

Mkhalele was supposed to take the reigns as Broos’ contract is allegedly said to stipulate that he skips the Council of Southern African Football Associations as well as the African Nations Championship (CHAN) competitions. According to the Sowetan, a renowned South African publication; Mkhalele does not have the required coaching badges to sit on the bench.  COSAFA’s 2023 regulations stipulate that, “in line with CAF requirements, all head coaches at the tournament must have CAF Pro, A or B coaching licence. Assistant coaches can have a Pro, A, B or C licence.”

Mkhalele is said to be boasting SAFA Level one badge while he is working on converting it to a CAF badge. According to the media reports, Mkhalele’s situation has left South Africa Football Association (SAFA) with  an egg on its face; especially after the association had made it clear the Premier Soccer League (PLS) clubs must hire qualified coaches.

However, SAFA announced Morena Ramoreboli as Bafana’s COSAFA coach with Raymond Mdaka acting as his assistant on Wednesday. SAFA released a statement confirming that Ramoreboli would take charge, but did not state any reason for Mkhalele’s absence. Ramoreboli recently won the league title with Botswana side Jwaneng Galaxy. He further won the 2021 Holleywoodbets COSAFA Cup with Bafana Bafana. Ramoreboli will name his squad today and enter in full camp on Tuesday in Durban. Meanwhile, Mdaka is the tactician of Marumo Gallants, who steered them to a semi-final finish in the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Confederation Cup last season.

This regional competition will run from July 5 to 16 in Durban, where the battle between the two neighbours is set for July 11. Sihlangu are in the same COSAFA Cup group with Bafana Bafana, Botswana’s Zebras and  Brave Warriors of Namibia.