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Monday, June 21, 2010
ESPNsoccernet: June 22, 9:04 AM UK
Mokoena: No rifts in Bafana camp

Soccernet staff

South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena insists that Bafana Bafana are not falling victim to the kind of dissent that has marred England and France's World Cup campaigns in recent days.

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Both European countries have been beset by reports of rifts within their respective camps, with France's World Cup descending into open warfare following the expulsion of Nicolas Anelka.

It has been reported that Mokoena and Carlos Alberto Parreira are not seeing eye-to-eye and that the South Africa coach has been guilty of favouritism. But ahead of a defining tie against France, Mokoena insists harmony exists within the squad.

"Some people are so disappointed there have not been any problems in the group," Mokoena said. "The atmosphere is the camp is incredible. I am certainly not aware of any rifts."

Parreira supported his captain when stating: "We've never had any problems during the whole preparation."

After drawing with Mexico and losing to Uruguay, South Africa must defeat France on Tuesday and hope that the other game in Group A does not end in a draw, as well as overturning a substantial goal difference deficit.

Mexico and Uruguay know that a draw will take both sides into the last 16 but with Argentina the likely opponents in the next round, Parreira does not believe Mexico, currently in second on goal difference, will settle for a pioint.

"I'm sure the players will not make a deal and say let's draw this game," Parreira said. "Maybe one of the two teams do not want to play Argentina and, they will go for a win. So we will never know what's going on in their minds. The reality is that it is out of our hands but that will not affect our motivation for the game.

"The group is very tough. It would be a disappointment if we were to go out but I do not consider it as a failure. What I can promise the South African public is that we are going to give it our best shot. We have accept that this is the World Cup and whatever is thrown against you, you must adapt."

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