Bongani Khumalo, who gained his fame in South Africa when he scored a header for the win against France, joined Reading after speaking with Harry Redknapp about the club on a season long loan. Khumalo who is excited for his prospects with Reading will make his debut Saturday in a pre-season match against Swindon Town. Last year Khumalo only played 6 games after he suffered a foot injury while playing on loan with Preston North. Before his stint with Preston North Khumalo played in South Africa for Supersport United. His loan deal with Reading means that he can be recalled by the Spurs in January. However, it is likely Khumalo will miss a proportion of that month anyway due to the Africa Cup of Nations that runs from January 21 to February 12 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
He said: “South Africa haven’t done too well in the Africa Cup of Nations for some time, so it would be fantastic to win it.”
Ghana Football Association spokesman Randy Abbey has revealed that Ghana team doctors will be sent to London to further assess Essien’s condition before a decision is made regarding further action. Essien, 28, has been ruled out of action for six months after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in training at Chelsea FC. He is expected to miss out of the 28th edition of the continental championship which starts next January in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Ghana is still yet to qualify however they are clear favorites to go through to the finals. The Ghana Football Association says it will wait till the last minute to make a decision on Michael Essien concerning the 2012 Africa Cup Nations Cup finals. The West London club have also insisted Essien will not be rushed back into action which means the enforcer is not likely to represent Ghana at the Nations Cup.
Essien has recently returned from a 16-month break from international duty.
The Botswana national team is on a training tour of South Africa as part of preparations for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations. However, deputy first choice goalie Noah Maposa and striker Moemedi Maotlhaping will miss the trip due to their involvement in trials in South Africa. Botswana were the first country to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations apart from co-hosts Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
Former Nigeria captain Austin ‘Jay Jay’ Okocha has been called “probably the greatest player since Pele.” Okocha believes the Nigeria Super Eagles can still qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations to be held in Equatorial Guinea & Gabon. Qualifying rounds continue as the Super Eagles trail Guinea by 3 points after four matches. The Super Eagles must win the next two games against Madagascar and then Guinea in order to qualify for the Africa Cup. The Super Eagles will play Madagascar on September 4th in Mahamasina stadium in Antananarivo and will go on to play Guinea October 6th and 9th. Guinea who is ahead in points could still qualify by beating Ethiopia and Nigeria without beating Madagascar or if they draw against Ethiopia and Nigeria looses to Madagascar. A win for both Nigeria and Guinea means that they will have to compete for the top spot during their match in October.