JOHANNESBURG – Assistant coach Helman Mkhalele will be the sole custodian who’ll bark instructions from the touchline when Bafana Bafana take on Uganda at the Orlando Stadium on Thursday night after his equal Cedomir Janevski tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday.
Late last month, Bafana’s newly appointed coach Hugo Broos returned home to Belgium to receive his second jab of the Covid-19 vaccine. He left his right-hand men Janevski and Mkhalele to oversee Bafana’s game against The Cranes in an international friendly.
Janevski and Mkhalele assembled for camp with the team on Sunday, while they addressed the media for the first time since their appointment on Monday. The two coaches held their first two training sessions at the match-venue in Soweto on Monday and Tuesday.
But the South African Football Association (Safa) confirmed in a statement on Wednesday, that after the second round of Covid-19 tests on Tuesday, the Macedonian-born coach, who’s spent most of his life in Belgium, tested positive, while the rest of the team was negative.
“’We continue to check for clinical symptoms and encourage the staff to wear masks without failure, practice social distance and everyone is accommodated separately,’’ said team doctor Tshepo Molobi, in a statement issued by the association on Wednesday.
Janevski becomes the fourth member of the Bafana team to be ruled out of the match due to Covid-19 implications. Midfielders Percy Tau and Teboho Mokoena both tested positive, while Sipho Mbule also joined them in self-isolation after being in close contact with the latter.