Mali have qualified for the quarterfinals of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, where they face the host nation, South Africa, on Saturday at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
The two countries have met at this stage of the tournament before, in 2002, when Mali hosted the continental showpiece. The West Africans won that particular encounter, however this time around Bafana Bafana will have the home ground advantage.
With reports around the Mali camp suggesting that the team is having issues regarding their allowances, captain Seydou Keita says that the side need to focus on their football. He said if the allowance issue gets to an unreasonable point, he will pay the players out of his own pocket.
“We are a team representing the country and our country comes first. All the players know and respect that. We have to keep on going to make our country proud and allowances can come later.
“But if it comes to that point, then I am willing to settle the allowances for the players from my pockets," said the former Barcelona star through a translator.
This would not be the first time that a player pays his teammates’ allowances, with Samuel Eto of Cameroon and George Weah of Liberia having found themselves in this position in the past.