Coach will be forced to find new players to do national duty
BAFANA Bafana coach Stuart Baxter is going to have to find new players to do duty for the national team in their African Nation Championships (Chan) qualifier against Zambia.
This after Premiership clubs AmaZulu and SuperSport United said yesterday that they are not going to release their selected players for the August 12 and 19 clashes with Chipolopolo.
On Monday, Baxter (pictured) announced a 25-man squad for the final leg of the qualifiers for the biennial tournament for local-based players that will take place in Kenya next year. The players are expected to report to camp on Sunday. But SuperSport coach Eric Tinkler said his players are staying with the club.
“No, they won’t be joining Bafana,” he stated.
All five of Teboho Mokoena – whom SuperSport pulled out of the squad for the previous round’s second leg clash against Botswana – Sipho Mbule, Cole Alexander, Denwin Farmer and Siyabonga Nhlapo have been called up.
But Tinkler found it strange that Farmer, for one, was even considered.
“Denwin is injured. He dislocated his shoulder. I don’t know why he was called up. But I am not releasing the other players.”
SuperSport face Kaizer Chiefs in an MTN8 match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on the evening of the day Bafana play Zambia.
Ironically, Chiefs managing director and chairman Bobby Motaung confirmed that they would release Ryan Moon and Bruce Bavuma to the squad.
From AmaZulu, Baxter has called up Michael Morton, Boalefa Pule and Ayabulela Konqobe.
But manager Qedi Dlamini said the trio will not honour the call up.
“We have made the decision not to release our players. We have already told Michael Morton and we will also inform other players.”
AmaZulu’s reasoning is that they have league commitments.
“We are playing Free State Stars at home on the 19th of August and these three players are key in our squad,” Dlamini explained. “Morton and Pule are still new and they need to gel with their teammates. But how can they do that if they are in and out? We respect the national team but on the other hand we have to prepare ourselves proper for the new season.”
Because the Chan matches do not fall under the Fifa date, the clubs are not obliged to release the players and Baxter will have to find replacements.
Efforts to get a comment from Safa proved futile with media man Dominic Chimhavi referring enquiries to team manager Barney Kujane whose phone rang unanswered and messages left for him were not returned at the time of going to press. – Minenhle Mkhize