Inside bad boy Serero’s tiff with Bafana coach

2013-09-08 14:00

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Ajax Amsterdam player sent packing from camp for faking injury.

A faked injury that led to the huge bust-up between Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund and Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Thulani Serero led to the player being shown the door from the Bafana camp.

City Press also learnt yesterday that Serero was upset after being dropped from the starting line-up and told some members of the technical team that he was “tired of being brought here for meaningless games”.

Igesund said at the post-match conference of the 2014 World Cup qualifier against Botswana: “He said he wanted to save himself for Ajax’s Champions League match.

He turned his back on us and he has developed a big head but could learn a thing or two from Steven Pienaar.”

Igesund said Serero told assistant coach Serame Letsoaka that he did not want to play as he had a tight muscle and was scared he could get injury.

Igesund refused to say whether he would still call him up for future Bafana camps.

Team doctor Carl Tabane also confirmed the player was fit to play.

“We had about six or seven players with tight muscles but this is normal in football. He made it clear he didnt want to risk getting an injury,” said Tabane.

Members of the technical staff who spoke on condition of anonymity said they believed the Soweto-born player had put his club career before the country’s interest and did not want to risk being injured in yesterday’s game that Bafana won 4-1.

The former Ajax Cape Town player?is alleged to have told the technical team that he did not want to play and claimed to have had an injury, although the team doctor declared him fit to play.

The ertswhile PSL Player of the Year exchanged heated words with Bafana head coach Igesund after which he was ordered to leave the camp.

This has led to speculation that he will never play for Bafana again as long as Igesund is the coach.

Sources within the team said Serero was to be included in the starting line-up but he told the technical team he did not want to take part in the match as he felt a slight strain in his groin.

But this did not go down well with the coaches as they had planned their game around the playmaker until his prima?donna antics surfaced.

Serero played his first full game for Ajax last week after struggling with a groin injury for almost the entire season.

He last played for Bafana in the Africa Cup of Nations in January, when he came on as an 89th minute substitute against Mali in the quarterfinals.

“His comments about being called up for a meaningless and hopeless game did not go down well with the technical team hence the decision to boot him out of the team.

“He wanted to go immediately after he was told that he was not in the starting line-up.

But this was disputed by a source close to the player who also preferred to remain anonymous.

“How could he say he did not want to play when he had paid for his family to come to the game?” asked the individual.

Serero could not be reached for comment as he was said not to have a mobile phone and his whereabouts were unknown yesterday.

Bafana’s bad boys

William “Naughty” Mokoena and Brendan Augustine

The duo were part of the Bafana Bafana squad in the 1998 World Cup in France but were shown the door without playing after breaking a curfew set by then coach Philippe Troussier.

Katlego Mphela

Former Bafana mentor Pitso Mosimane dropped him from the team in 2011 after the striker’s refusal to train at Mamelodi Sundowns, stating the club’s alleged rejection to accept bids from overseas teams interested in him as his reason.

Mabhuti Khenyeza

Infamous for going AWOL and did not turn up for training in the national squad selected to play in the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup.

He was ditched from the team and replaced by Thulasizwe Mbuyane.

Bennie McCarthy

Failed to arrive at camp in 2008 to prepare for Bafana’s opening qualifier against Nigeria in Abuja for the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, citing “personal problems”.

He was removed from the team list.

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