AFCON Voyage Awaits Bucs Stars

Orlando Pirates will be well represented when the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) kicks off in the Ivory Coast next month.

The continent’s premier football competition begins on Saturday, 13 January 2024, and continues for four weeks before its conclusion on Sunday, 11 February. 

At least five Buccaneers will be involved in the showpiece, having had their spots confirmed this week.

South Africa will have the biggest contingent of Pirates players, following the announcement of Hugo Broos’ final squad for the tournament.

Defender Nkosinathi Sibisi and striker Zakhele Lepasa have both been retained after featuring in the squad that took part in the opening rounds of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in November, along with Evidence Makgopa who was called up as a late addition to the team. 

Making a return after a lengthy absence from international football is midfielder Thabang Monare, who earned his last Bafana cap in a Friendly match against France in March 2022. The 34-year-old has the chance to add to his three official appearances for the national team after impressing in Bucs colours throughout the season.

South Africa’s Belgian mentor has also placed three additional players on standby, including Pirates defender Tapelo Xoki, who was part of the national setup during the November international break.

Wingback Deon Hotto is another Buccaneer set to add more caps to his collection after being called up to the Namibia squad. A fourth AFCON cap could be on the cards for the Brave Warriors stalwart, who last featured in the tournament during the 2019 edition in Egypt.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Richard Ofori is also in the running for an AFCON spot after making Ghana coach Chris Hughton 55-man provisional squad set to be trimmed down to 23 before the showpiece.

The Black Stars kick their campaign off with a clash against Cape Verde on Sunday, 14 January while Namibia and South Africa get theirs underway two days later when they battle Tunisia and Mali, respectively.

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