Roger De Sa believes Bafana Bafana’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying draw gives them a good chance of making it to the continental showpiece, but says it will be difficult for Hugo Broos’ side to topple Morocco as Group K winners.
Bafana were placed alongside Morocco, Zimbabwe and Liberia in Group K after the draw for the tournament, set to take place in the Ivory Coast next June, was conducted on Tuesday evening in Randburg.
De Sa was assistant coach to Carlos Queiroz with the Egyptian national team when they beat Morocco 2-1 in the Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinals in Cameroon earlier this year.
“I think Morocco are one of the top five teams in Africa, when we played them in the Afcon all their players were in the top leagues in Europe, including the bench. Possibly the Olympic team as well!” said De Sa, a former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper and assistant coach.
“They have a very good set up. I would say in that group Morocco will probably win it and Bafana can get second.”
Morocco will be at the 2022 Fifa World Cup, after hammering DR Congo 5-2 on aggregate in the recent play-offs. Among their star players are PSG full back Achraf Hakimi, captain and Wolves central defender Roman Saiss, and Sevilla striker Youssef En-Nesyri.
The top two teams in each group will qualify for the Afcon finals, while there is also a possibility Zimbabwe will not be able to play in the qualifiers, given that they were suspended by Fifa this year for government interference in the Zimbabwe Football Association.
The qualifiers are set to start in the Fifa international week between May 30 and June 14 this year, though the exact dates have yet to be announced by the Confederation of African Football.
De Sa, meanwhile, says he still has a ticket booked to fly back to Cairo at the end of this month, even though the Egyptian FA have parted ways with Queiroz, shortly after the team’s play-off loss to Senegal in the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.
“They (the EFA) offered us a four year extension, but none of us were keen on a four year deal,” explained De Sa, who is currently contracted to the EFA until the end of the year.
“He (Queiroz) said there were a couple of other offers on the table he was weighing up, and said he would rather go somewhere else. It was pointless to (continue to) take it (the Egypt job) on now and then walk away in December.”