Johannesburg – Kaizer Chiefs players will form part of the Bafana Bafana squad for next month's African Nations Championship (Chan), in spite of assertions by the club's football manager, SA Football Association (Safa) confirmed on Friday.
“The agreement was reached with Kaizer Motaung, the club owner, chairman and founder and that speaks for itself,” Safa's head of communications Dominic Chimhavi said on Friday.
“As part of the settlement, the date of the Premiership clash between Chiefs and Mamelodi Sundowns was switched from January 28
to January 23 to enable the players to go back to their clubs for the fixture during a break in the Caf event.
“Of the six Chiefs players selected by coach Gordon Igesund for Chan, only Reneilwe Letsholonyane will be withdrawn because of a serious leg injury.”
Earlier in the week, Chiefs' football manager Bobby Motaung said on the club's website their players would be pulled out of Chan.
Chimhavi said a completely cordial meeting was held on Monday between Safa president Danny Jordaan, the Safa-PSL liaison committee – of which Chiefs' chairman Kaizer Motaung was a member Ä and the chairman of Mamelodi Sundowns. The group reached a compromise agreement on the thorny issue of Chan participation.
The controversy over player availability for Chan stems from the fact that the event, in which only home-based participants are eligible, is not recognised as an official Fifa tournament and, therefore, clubs are not obliged to release players.
Safa had previously agreed not to select Orlando Pirates players because of their fixture congestion as they attempt to catch up their seven-match backlog. – Sapa