Thulani Serero has this week kissed his international football career goodbye by ruling himself out of Bafana Bafana’s crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal on Friday.
The Dutch-based midfielder refused a plane ticket to South Africa, telling Bafana team manager Barney Kujane that he would not join coach Stuart Baxter’s side if he is not guaranteed a place in the starting line-up.
“He (Serero) gave the indication to Barney that if he is not going to play he doesn’t want to come to camp,” Baxter revealed after training on Tuesday.
“This is a national team, not a club team, there is no guaranteeing people places. So if he doesn’t feel it is an honour enough to be called up to the national camp, then he may as well stay where he is. Whether that is permanent or not, I certainly don’t know. I am marking his column. We have asked him to put that in writing so that we know for sure, but at the moment we have not heard anything. But he has certainly told us that he is not going to join the camp.”
Another bit of breaking news: Thulani Serero has told Safa he doesn’t want to play for the National Team if he isn’t guaranteed to start.
Serero had been called up as part of Baxter’s 26-man squad to take on Senegal in back-to-back qualifiers for next year’s World Cup. Bafana must win here on Friday and then again four days later in Dakar to book their ticket to the global showpiece.
It now appears that should they be successful in that route, the Vitesse nimble-footed midfielder will not be part of that squad – maybe even if there is a last minute change of heart.
Serero has previously had disagreements with Baxter’s predecessors. Gordon Igesund kicked him out of camp when he allegedly claimed he didn’t want to risk an injury in a dead-rubber World Cup qualifier at home against Botswana before Ajax Amsterdam, his club at the time, were due to face Barcelona in a Champions League group stage fixture.
He also had run-ins with Shakes Mashaba and is yet to feature in any of the games Baxter has been in charge of.