Johannesburg – The future of Thulani Serero's international career is in his own hands, Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said on Monday.
“We need him to be committed to playing for South Africa,” Igesund said at OR Tambo international before his side left for Morocco to play an international friendly at Agadir Stadium on Friday.
“This was a player who didn't want to play for us because he was scared of getting injured.
“It's very simple, Serero's future is in his own hands.”
Serero had tried to manipulate his selection, faking an injury, ahead of South Africa's World Cup qualifier against Botswana in September, to ensure he was fully fit for Champions League duty with his Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam.
Serero was then released from the squad.
Igesund said he understood where Serero was coming from, and the matter could be resolved with a letter of apology.
“All he needs to do is write a letter of apology and admit his mistake.
“Nobody is bigger than the game. When a player plays for me, he must be prepared to go out there and break a leg.
“Everyone has to fight for their place. Every player here is fighting for their place and I have no problem with Serero.”
Igesund confirmed Kamohelo Mokotjo, who played for Dutch club PEC Zwolle, had joined fellow midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi on the injured list.
“I got the full report from Holland and Mokotjo is also out. He went over on his ankle.
“He phoned me this morning and he was nearly crying. I was going to play him in this game, next to Furman.”
Igesund said there would be no time to call up any replacements.
A new era had dawned for Bafana, and fresh players would now get their chance, the coach said.
“We have to get our priorities right. We are starting a new era now, if we don't give them opportunities now, it won't work.
“Winning is always important, sometimes we aren't going to have our strongest players.
“I'm prepared to lose games not to sacrifice players, we need to try things out.”
Igesund was reluctant to comment on the two PSL coaches –
Manqoba Mnqithi at Golden Arrows and Clinton Larsen at Bloemfontein Celtic – who parted ways with their clubs over the last two days.
“I can't comment on club coaches,” he said.
“Coaches don't become bad coaches overnight. A club gets players and they have a great season and then they sell four or five of their best players and they don't replace them and they expect the same results.
“Clinton Larsen in my opinion is a fantastic coach. Mnqithi is also a great coach.
“I don't want to comment on what a club should or shouldn't do. It's not my responsibility.” – Sapa