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Dreams Shattered? Bafana Duo’s AFCON Heartache

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is still hopeful of seeing defenders Nikola Tavares and Joel Untersee play for the national team.

There are fresh doubts that the pair will join Bafana for their Africa Cup of Nations preparations ahead of the tournament in Egypt next month.

Baxter named both Tavares and Untersee in his 30-man provisional squad last week and stated that their inclusion was pending passports. 

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Tavares, 20, has spent much of his life in England and plays for Crystal Palace. However, he recently indicated to Baxter that he would be keen to play for Bafana despite also holding a Croatian passport. 

Untersee on the other hand has already represented Switzerland at junior international level, but is still eligible to play for Bafana. Baxter has also had a chat with the 25-year-old about his inclusion in the national team.  

It now appears the paperwork has derailed their trip to SA to join the AFCON squad, which puts the duo in a race against time and robs Baxter of a chance to see them in action during the Johannesburg leg of their camp ahead of playing two friendly matches in Dubai before travelling to Egypt.

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Contacted for comment by the Siya crew, Baxter expressed his desire to still have the players feature for Bafana.

“It’s not looking good at the moment. We might not have enough time to get them the paperwork before the AFCON. Our Home Affairs here is still making all the necessary effort, but we have to wait,” the coach said.

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