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Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Monday, 10 May 2010 14:25 UK

Bafana Bafana duo in anxious wait

Piers Edwards
BBC Sport, Johannesburg

Carlos Alberto Parreira
Parreira will name his provisional 30-man squad on Tuesday

South Africa goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez and central defender Morgan Gould face an anxious wait before learning their World Cup fate.

Fernandez and Gould must pass medical assessments if coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is to include them in his provisional 30-man squad on Tuesday.

The pair have been struggling with injuries since the start of the year.

Fifa rules state that any nation's final 23-man World Cup squad must come from the provisional list of players.

The deadline for submitting provisional lists is Tuesday 11 May 2010.

Should both fail to come through, Parreira will throw a World Cup lifeline to three other players.

Parreira selected 29 players for his final pre-World Cup camp in Johannesburg earlier this month but says one of the four named goalkeepers will be dropped.

"We just need to assess Rowen who should have come yesterday but a problem with his flight schedule meant he had to cancel," Parreira, 67, told a news conference on Monday.


"We don't need to put four goalkeepers on the list of 30."

Fernandez has been injured since the start of the year but could well oust reserve Shu-Aib Walters should he be passed fit, with Kaizer Chiefs' Itumeleng Khune currently holding the number one spot.

Meanwhile, Gould's injuries have jeopardised his potential place in Parreira's starting XI for the World Cup opener against Mexico on 11 June.

"We have to wait one or two days more for the final answer on Morgan," said Parreira.

"But after three months without playing, to recover physically, technically and mentally so close to the competition is proving quite a headache."

Amongst the players waiting for an unexpected recall are the likes of Orlando Pirates' Katlego Mashego and Kermit Erasmus, the under-20 star who has impressed in Holland this season.

Parreira also revealed that talks are continuing between the South African and Argentine Football Associations about a possible friendly before next month's finals.

"The FA is still dealing with Argentina but I cannot confirm the match because it is not settled yet," he explained.

The World Cup hosts' run-in to the finals starts in earnest on Sunday when Bafana Bafana host Bryan Robson's Thailand in Nelspruit.

Yet there's been widespread criticism of such lowly-ranked opponents as Bafana Bafana prepare for Group A rivals Mexico, Uruguay and France.

"If you see all the big teams and follow their schedule, they're all playing small teams," said Parreira, who coached Brazil to 1994 World Cup success.

"I worked in Asia for many years, with teams from the Middle East, and Thailand were always a good team that played well.

"As a start for our preparations, I think they're a good opponent."

The World Cup kicks off on 11 June in Johannesburg's Soccer City, with the final taking place in the same stadium on 11 July.

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see also
SA 'pray' for US World Cup defeat
07 May 10 |  Africa
SA queues to see World Cup trophy
07 May 10 |  Africa
McCarthy dropped by South Africa
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Parreira wants quality friendlies
08 Apr 10 |  African

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