I was speechless to read that the South African Football Association (SAFA) has publicized the names of players who did not honour their national call-ups to be part of Gordon Igesund’s Bafana Bafana squad that travelled to Australasia last month.
SAFA Communications Manager Dominic Chimhavi admitted that players which are going to be summoned by SAFA for the disciplinary charges are Orlando Pirates duo Thabo Matlaba and Oupa Manyisa, Teko Modise of Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits striker Sthembiso Ngcobo.
However, they haven’t yet official charged. I am disappointed that SAFA administration is playing the man than a ball. It doesn’t need a rocket scientist to ascertain that Manyisa is suffering from burnout after playing more than 51 games in a season which is record appearance in the domestic football. Manyisa travelled the width and breadth of Africa representing Pirates in the CAF Champions League and also played all cup finals in South Africa.
Manyisa and Matlaba deserved a break after gruesome season than playing in unofficial international games. SAFA must drop this case because they are inconsiderate about players’ body condition. Manyisa and Matlaba deserve adequate time to recuperate from long but unusual season.
Instead of charging Modise and Ngcobo, SAFA should explore various ways to improve our football by ensuring that young talent is nurtured for the national team. Modise and Ngcobo have aged to be considered for Bafana in future. The team needs young blood than forever playing tested, tried but failed players. Modise had a wonderful season but he is unwanted in the National Team whilst erratic Ngcobo is no longer good enough for Bafana. SAFA should dedicate the time for disciplinary hearing to discuss ways to improve our football.
SAFA should be concern about our poor state of football than charging players for unofficial games. This conduct by SAFA will chase away players willingly to play for the national team. It is unfair that the 4 local based players are going to be disciplined whilst Holland based player striker Thulani Serero of Ajax Amsterdam was not charged for walking out of the Bafana camp pre to an important international game.
SAFA double standard of treating players is nothing but unmindful, disrespectful, unacceptable and distasteful. Matlaba, Manyisa, Modise and Ngcobo don’t deserve any disciplinary charges. It is pointless to punish players for failing to honour FIFA unrecognised international matches.
By Owen Mundalamo