Host of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, South Africa are scared stiff of been paired with Nigeria’s Super Eagles in the same group in the draws scheduled to hold in Durban on Tuesday next week.
Bafana Bafana coach, Gordon Igesund voiced his fear of having the hosts in Super Eagles group shortly after his wards defeated the Harambe Stars 2-1 in a friendly game in Nairobi.
“To be honest, I want a favourable draw. I’m not going to come here and declare I want Nigeria in our group.
“I would prefer to avoid them. It would be a lie if I said I don’t care who’s in our group,” observed the Bafana coach.
Nigeria have proven to be South Africa’s nemesis at almost every level and there’s a huge possibility they could be in Group A, where Bafana are top seeds as hosts, with the Super Eagles among unseeded teams in Pool B for next week’s draw.
Meanwhile, Stephen Keshi has disclosed that he plans to stage a training camp for players from the Nigeria Premier League in Portugal ahead of the AFCON.
This will be in addition to the training camp most likely in Zimbabwe prior to the Nations Cup in South Africa.
"My plan is to have the home-based players for at least two weeks at the Adidas training centre (in Portugal),” he noted. .
“I have submitted my programme but we all know that time is not our friend.
“We have one friendly game against Venezuela in the US. And I am hoping that I should be able to have my foreign-based players for at least two weeks."
It is believed that 22 players from the domestic league will make the trip to Portugal with the hope that some overseas-based players will also join up.
Hosts South Africa, 2012 AFCON runners-up Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and defending champions Zambia are the seeded countries for Wednesday’s draw for the Nations Cup.
However, Keshi again maintained he is looking forward to facing any of them in the first round of the tournament.
"I am not scared of any country. Let's be put in any group," Keshi restated.
Keshi will be at the draw in Durban and will be accompanied by NFF technical committee chairman Chris Green and Eagles team secretary Dayo Enebi.
They will depart the country on Monday. They are due back in Nigeria on October 26 after attending a seminar, the draw as well as a stadium inspection.
The Eagles training camp for the November 14 friendly against Venezuela in Miami will open on November 4.