Safa to punish absent Bafana players

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iol spt aug8 Teko Gallo Images The SA Football Association (Safa) will apply heavy sanctions to players who refused to honour their national team call-ups, chief executive Dennis Mumble said. Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Johannesburg – Newly-appointed Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has backed the SA Football Association's (Safa) call for sanctions to players who refused to honour their national team call-ups.

“Any player, any patriotic player will play in the national team, irrespective of where you come from," Mashaba said on Friday,  where he was formally unveiled as the national senior coach by Safa  president Danny Jordaan.

“I hope that the football association will address that. It’s not denting a club or a player, it’s denting the country.

“It seems as though we don’t know what we want to do. But I’ve got the belief that it is going to be addressed.

“Patriotic, underline that word."

Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble on Friday confirmed that the national soccer body was in the process of charging players who failed to honour their Bafana call-ups in March.

“There are three players who did that before the Australia and New Zealand matches,” Mumble said at Safa's headquarters in Johannesburg.

“We are busy prosecuting those players. They are not going to be  made eligible or available for the national team.

“We are going to continue that. If a player chooses of his own accord, if he has no legitimate reason, we will put him in front of  a disciplinary committee.

“That's what we are doing now. Let that be very clear, that we are not going to tolerate any refusal of a call-up from the national team… any national team. That's the way it needs to go out, there is no need for another discussion.”

Bafana Bafana travelled to Australasia without a number of players who opted to sit out, as the dates fell outside of the official Fifa calendar, which meant they were not obliged to participate.

Safa, however, were left fuming, despite the games against Australia and New Zealand coming a week after the conclusion of the  season.

“We are the South African Football Association… we control all football in this country,” Mumble said.

“The Premier Soccer League (PSL) is a member of Safa, if we want  to prosecute a player in the PSL, we will do so. There is no question about our jurisdiction.”

Mumble did not want to name the players until the outcome of the  disciplinary committee, but hinted that the punishments could be severe.

“Whatever the committee specifies, that's what we will have to do. The (punishment) that we are seeking is that they not be eligible and probably worst would possibly be suspension.”

Among the players who refused a call up was Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder Teko Modise, who made himself unavailable, but was spotted taking part in a friendly for Sundowns during the time Bafana was on tour.  – Sapa



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