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Afcon 2019: SA-based players can’t use heat as an excuse – Furman

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Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman feels that the heat of Egypt during Afcon 2019 is no excuse for sub-par performances from players based in South Africa.

Furman pointed out that the PSL is played out largely in the summer so most of the Bafana Bafana squad should be accustomed to the kind of heat experienced at Afcon 2019.

The Supersport United midfielder likened the conditions to those of Rustenburg‚ Polokwane and Thohoyandou.

Bafana Bafana and Ivory Coast were not afforded a first-half water break in their meeting on Monday. Something that puzzled Furman given the game kicked off at 16:30 local time.

“It’s hot. But I would say 75 percent of us play in South Africa where we play a summer league so we play in this kind of weather every week‚” he said.

“It does alter the tempo of the game. But it is what it is. We went to Dubai specifically to get used to this. Dubai was 10 degrees hotter than this.

“It’s similar to Rustenburg‚ Polokwane‚ Thohoyandou. It’s hot. We’ve got to deal with that.

“What we’ve experienced‚ because we’ve been training at 4.30pm‚ 5pm‚ is that by the time of the second half it does cool a lot.

“And that’s the end of our 4.30 games now. We’ve got a 10pm [against Namibia on Friday]‚ and a 6pm game now [against Morocco on Monday].

“So yeah‚ we’re disappointed‚ but the conditions will suit us better in the next game‚ if they had any effect today.”

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South Africa’s midfielder Dean Furman (L) fights for the ball with Ivory Coast’s forward Nicolas Pepe during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Ivory Coast and South Africa at the Al Salam Stadium in Cairo on June 24, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

Afcon heat: The first person to take a drink was the referee

Furman joked that the Algerian official Mustapha Ghorbal was the first person to take a drink during an injury stoppage in the first half, but denied the players a break.

“No. I was surprised,” he said

“Because the first time there was an injury the first person to take a drink was the referee.

“And I had a joke with him because he said‚ ‘No water break’.

“But it’s up to the referee and he decided that.

“I don’t know if the temperature was too low for a water break. But you could see from the energy of the players the guys were desperate for a bit of water.”

After defeat in the opening game Bafana Bafana will need a win against Namibia on Friday night to give themselves a good chance of securing a place in the Afcon round of 16.

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