By Elliot Mathye and Thabisile Masimula
Bafana Bafana head coach Pitso Mosimane has made it crystal clear that he will not tolerate unruly behaviors by some of its players.
Mosimane was expressing his feelings about the players with disappearing act at their clubs and expect to be called for duty in the national team.
Although he did not mention any individuals by names, it is clear that one of the players in question include the likes of Katlego “Killer” Mphela who has been missing from his club, Mamelodi Sundowns for some time now. The no-nonsense coach went on to exclude Mphela from his 24 member-squad to face Kenya in a friendly international that was announced this morning at the SAFA House in Nasrec, Jozi. The Bafana-Kenya match will take place in Phokeng’s Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, North West on Wednesday, February 9.
“Players need to behave themselves, both in and off the field and as the national team coach, I will not tolerate such behavior as there is no room for such players in the national team,” pointed out Mosimane.
He added that: “We do not encourage a behaviour where players miss training or matches for whatever reasons and we will not compromise the reliability of those clubs where those players are contracted by.”
At the same time, the Bafana coach also made a point that despite their inactive at their clubs overseas, the likes of Kagisho Dikgacoi and Bernard Parker have been included in the team for this match as their experience might be useful. “We have included these players in the squad as we need their experience to guide and help the younger players hence some of the popular faces have been sidelined,” said Mosimane.
The only player who will make a debut for Bafana is Bidvest Wits’ Sifiso Miyeni while familiar faces such as Tlou Segolela, Reuben Cloete both from Pirates and Thulani Serero of Ajax Cape Town have been recalled in the team. Mzivukile Tom of Golden Arrows has been recalled after an injury upset.
SAFA President Kirstin Nematandani thanked the South African fans for their undying support for the national team and also saluted Bafana after they improved their position on the FIFA rankins which saw them being placed 47th.
“I would like to thank the fans for their constant support for the home team and I have no doubt that we will win the match against Kenya next month”, said Nematandani.
Nematandani also stated that SAFA had prepared to play against Burkino Faso who withdrew in the last minutes. “We also made negotiations with Libya and Burundi but our efforts bore no fruit which led us to consulting with the Kenyan Football Association and an agreement was finalized”, He concluded.
The match has been scheduled for 8:35pm and will be broadcasted live.
Bafana squad to face Kenya:
Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Moeneeb Josephs (Pirates). Defenders: Morgan Gould(Supersports United), Siboniso Gaxa (Lierse), Bongani Khumalo (Tottenham), Tom Mzivukile (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Cloete Reuben (Orlando Pirates), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk), Siyabonga Sangweni (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth).
Midfielders: Matthew Pattison (Mamelodi Sundowns), ANDILE Jali (Orlando Pirates), Thanduyise Khuboni (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Reneilwe Letsulunyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Steven Pienaar (Tottenham), Daylon Claasen (Lierse), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Sifiso Miyeni (Bidvest Wits)
Strikers: Kermit Erasmus (Supersports United), Tlou Segolela (Orlando Pirates), Bernad Parker (Panseraikos), Davide Somma(Leeds United), Thulani Serero(Ajax Cape Town).