JOHANNESBURG – Bafana Bafana legend Philemon “Chippa” Masinga slammed Thulani Serero for an act that he described as “unprofessional” and “disrespectful”, after the Netherlands-based midfielder said he wouldn’t honour his call-up if he wasn’t guaranteed game time.
That stance basically ended Serero’s international career, but Serero is unmoved.
He was quoted in the Dutch media saying that his couch in Arnhem is more comfortable than the bench he has sat on in Stuart Baxter’s era.
“It’s a pity that it happened at the wrong time when we had two big games to play against Senegal, when he decided that he won’t come to the national team if he isn’t guaranteed a place in the starting XI,” Masinga said.
“It was unprofessional and disrespectful towards his colleagues because when you’re calling up players for the national team, you’re calling the cream of the crop. That means he thinks he is much better than all the other players who were selected. That was totally wrong.
“I think he could have discussed this with the coach without reacting the way he reacted.
“He could have told him that coach ‘I’ve been on top of my game in Holland, I was expecting that when I come here, I will be in the starting XI’, and then hear from the coach on what he wants from him for him to be guaranteed a place.
“For him to show the country the middle finger was totally unprofessional.”
Masinga was speaking at the FNB Stadium during the announcement of the Football Legends Festival Cup to be staged at Dobsonville Stadium on December 3.
The tournament is organised by the South African Masters and Football Legends Association (Samfla). Masinga serves as the association’s deputy president.
This tournament will feature a number of Masinga’s teammates at Bafana, including Jerry Sikhosana, Helman Mkhalele and Fani Madida.
While Masinga slammed Serero’s act, he also argues that the coach could have avoided it with better communication.
“I have heard Tokelo Rantie say that he doesn’t know why he was dropped after he played well against Cape Verde, and scored a goal for that matter,” Masinga said.
“The coach probably didn’t call him to explain why he dropped him. But as a coach, if you know that you’ve got a group of players who are part of the national team and you drop a player from there, you must call him and explain to him why you dropped him.
“Then that becomes better with good communication. That’s how things should be done.
“But on the Serero matter, I still feel that he disrespected the country.”