Mosimane wants Bafana to free his men
Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba was far from impressed yesterday after Pitso Mosimane used a public forum to appeal for Mamelodi Sundowns players to be excused from national team duty in the coming days.
Sundowns have been left to contend with a busy schedule over the next few weeks.
Mosimane said in a post-match interview at the weekend he hoped Mashaba would excuse his players from Bafana’s dead rubber 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tie against Mauritania on Friday‚ and from next week’s friendly international against Egypt.
But this did not go down very well with Mashaba‚ who said Mosimane was aware of the channels to follow for such a request to be entertained by Bafana.
“Unfortunately, nothing [official] has come to us from Sundowns‚” Mashaba said yesterday.
“We operate on an open door policy in the national team. “If there is anyone who wants to talk to us‚ he can come to us and say it. “But if what I am hearing from you is what happened‚ I am disappointed. “We operate on an open door policy and if anyone has got something to talk about‚ we are always available.”
Mashaba called up five Sundowns players – Keegan Dolly‚ Hlompho Kekana‚ Tebogo Langerman ‚ Thapelo Morena and new signing Sibusiso Vilakazi – for the games against Mauritania and Egypt.
Sundowns are yet to play a domestic league fixture since the start of the season last week, as they have been flying the national flag in the African Champions League.
They reached the semifinals of the MTN8 on Sunday, which means the Premier Soccer League will have to find dates to accommodate these games on the calendar.
Mashaba said he would consider resting the Sundowns players if Sundowns followed the proper protocols and sent official documentation to the SA Football Association. ‘‘Until [documentation] comes to us we cannot comment. Let them send it first. “If they want to request something‚ let them send it. Then we will deal with it.”
Bafana travelled to Nelspruit on Tuesday afternoon without the Ajax Cape Town duo of Prince Nxumalo and Rivaldo Coetzee.
Nxumalo is suffering from a hamstring while Coetzee is down with chickenpox. Bafana management officials are working on securing replacements ahead of Friday’s encounter.
Meanwhile, Anele Ngcongca has been quoted in the Belgian media as saying he has signed a four-year contract with Downs.
But the player’s representatives say: “Nothing has been finalised.” Respected Belgian soccer publication VoetbalNieuws quotes Ngcongca‚ who left Genk recently after the mutual termination of his contract‚ as saying: “I have signed a four-year contract with Mamelodi Sundowns.”
But agent Mike Makaab said yesterday this was not the case . . . yet: “Honestly‚ nothing has been finalised.”
Makaab has said he hoped to have Ngcongca’s future decided today or tomorrow‚ though as a free agent he is not bound by the transfer window‚ which closes tomorrow.
Makaab had previously said Ngcongca was looking at options at home and abroad and would welcome a move to the Premier Soccer League if the right deal presented itself.
Sundowns are known to want to bring in another right-back and in Ngcongca would have the added bonus of a player who can cover central defensive positions too. Ngcongca has not yet played in the PSL.