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Igesund set to cancel Europe trip

South Africa coach Gordon Igesund is unlikely to head back to Europe ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Igesund was planning to go and see the clubs of various South African players based in Greece, Belgium and Holland to negotiate their early release for the tournament in his homeland.

The coach is hoping to have all his players in camp by January 1 to give him a full 18 days of build-up before they play their opener against Cape Verde on January 19 at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

But injuries to the likes of Daylon Claasen and Thulani Serero, as well as a change in thinking over selection means he might not need to make the trip.

“I am in constant contact with the players and their coaches, so the need for me to go there at the moment does not exist,” Igesund said.

“Guys like Claasen and Serero are coming back from injuries and we need to find out first if they will be fit to play in the tournament before I travel to Europe to negotiate with their clubs.

“It would be a wasted exercise for me to go there and we then find out they will not be available. So for the moment there are no trips planned, but we will see how things develop.

“I talk to the guys all the time and I know exactly how they are doing.”

Igesund and his assistant coach, Serame Letsoaka, were in England earlier this month to speak to various players and their clubs about their release for the continental showpiece.

The trip was a success, with Dean Furman and Kagisho Dikgacoi of Oldham Athletic and Crystal Palace respectively being given permission to report for camp in early January.

South Africa will also hold a pre-Christmas camp in Durban from December 21-24, where they are likely to play a friendly international on December 22 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Tue 27 November, 2012
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