SAFA will lodge a formal complaint with Emirates Airlines following Bafana Bafana’s botched travelling plans at OR Tambo airport on Tuesday night, the association has confirmed to the Siya crew.
The national team was meant to leave for Dubai last night, but were turned back – the players, coach Stuart Baxter and the rest of his staff having to make their way back to their hotel in Johannesburg.
According to Siya sources, SAFA had booked the players on different flights and different times, though they all travelled to the airport at the same time.
“Emirates advises that for some reason or other they overbooked the flight, despite us having received confirmation of all bookings,” Russell Paul, the acting CEO, explained to the crew.
“They then advised they were unable to take nine people from us and as such the coach believed it best for all to travel at 10am today. We are investigating with Emirates and lodging a formal complaint.”
In thier response, Emirates sent the following statement to the Siya crew:
"Emirates is aware of the matter concerning the South African men's national team's flight bookings. The team made their travel arangements with their own booking agent, who booked them on different flights due to late confirmation of the bookings and subsequent limited capacity on the designated flight."
Bafana have since boarded a flight to Dubai where they will play Ghana on Friday in a friendly match before their Africa Cup of Nations campaign gets underway – they face Ivory Coast in their opener on June 24.