Safa accused of risking players

Bafana Bafana practice games, such as those played against Zambia and Ghana last week, are a “no-no” for South Africa’s players, according to Kaizer Chiefs football manager Bobby Motaung.

The Chiefs boss, reacting to the injury incurred by midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane during the 1-1 practice outing against Zambia at Rand Stadium last Wednesday, said the South African Football Association (Safa) had risked players who may not have been fully fit.

Letsholonyane had surgery on his knee on Friday and the club said he could be out for the rest of the season.

“Not only are the players confronted with the risk of injury but they are not rewarded with international caps from these matches either,” Motaung said on Saturday.

The Amakhosi boss said the South African players were expected to rest during a lengthy two month break in the Premiership and hit out at the Safa for downgrading both of last week’s games.

“The clubs were requested not to organise friendly fixtures during this period in order to give the players a rest,” Motaung said.

International cap
“So what happens? Safa goes ahead and arranges the games against Zambia and Ghana, who understandably needed the practice before the start of the Africa Cup of Nations.

“Had the games gone on as recognised Fifa international matches, as it had originally been planned, the players would at least have been rewarded with international caps for their efforts.”

Motaung said closer cooperation was needed between Safa and the Premier Soccer League in arranging international outings after Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and Golden Arrows withdrew their players from last week’s fixtures.

Particularly, when games are staged during a period of player inactivity, or on dates not set aside by Fifa for international matches.

“Unless there is this close co-operation, there will always be problems,” he said.

“We at Chiefs are committed to helping Bafana as much as we can in the wider cause of South African soccer, but there has to be a measure of give-and-take between Safa and the PSL clubs.” — Sapa

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