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May 9, 2011

SA and Tanzania fixture put back

The international friendly between South Africa and Tanzania has been moved back to its original date on May 14.

The fixture was pushed back to May 28 on Thursday last week to allow both teams to prepare for the African Cup of Nations qualifiers, but the change has now been reversed.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) said that their Tanzanian counterparts had asked for match to be played on its original date. "Due to unforeseen logistical challenges regarding the postponement of the match, reinstating the original date was the best option for both parties," SAFA said.

The fixture will now clash with South Africa's Nedbank Cup semi-finals which means players from Orlando Pirates, such as Andile Jali, and Mpumalanga Black Aces will be unavailable. The other semi-final is being played between second division side Baroka FC and first division side Black Leopards, which should have no impact on the friendly.

South Africa's coach Pitso Mosimane wants to use the match as preparation for the country's Cup of Nations qualifier against Egypt on June 5 and said that the closer the friendly is to the Egypt match, the better.

Mosimane will not be able to name his first choice squad because of the Cup matches, he will have overseas based stars Kagisho Dikgacoi and Bernard Parker available for selection. Steven Pienaar, who plays at Tottenham Hotspur will also not be available because of the reschedule. Pitso Mosimane will announce his squad on Monday.

The date change should have little impact on Tanzania, who have extended invitations to six foreign-based players.

Nizar Khalfan who plays in Canada at the Vancouver Whitecaps, Danny Mrwanda and Abdi Kassim from Vietnam's DT Long An, Scandinavian-based Athuman Machupa and Henry Joseph and Idrissa Rajab who plays in Kenya are all expected to be released from their clubs to play in the match. Tanzania take on the Central African Republic on June 4 in their qualifier.

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