Thulani Serero, the Ajax Amsterdam and South African attacking midfielder, was kicked out of the Bafana Bafana squad on the eve of yesterday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Botswana for feigning an injury in a bid to try to get out of playing for his country – in favour of playing Champions League football with his club.
This was revealed by national coach Gordon Igesund after Bafana’s 4-1 victory at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban which in the end was not enough to see the national side advance to the next stage of qualifying for the World Cup in Brazil next year.
“He went to the doctor and told him that he felt a tight muscle, and then told the doctor he didn’t want to play because he had a big Champions League game coming up this week, and he didn’t want to get injured,” a terse Igesund, who hauled his entire technical squad in front of the media to back up his statement, explained.
Serero, whom Igesund later criticised for “the big head he seems to have developed”, was escorted to a hotel next to the team’s base, and then taken to the airport yesterday morning as his teammates readied themselves for the crucial tie.
In a drama-filled press conference Igesund revealed that the team doctor had dismissed Serero’s claims of being unfit to play against Botswana before the Holland-based star eventually admitted that he wanted to save himself for Ajax Amsterdam’s mouth-watering Champions League clash against Spanish giants Barcelona on September 18 at the Camp Nou. - Weekend Argus