Safa and PSL resolve U-23 player standoff

2011-11-19 18:14

The South African Football Association (Safa) and the Premier Soccer League (PSL) on Thursday resolved their ongoing standoff over the Under-23 national team.

The team is scheduled to play in the eight-nation CAF Under-23 Championship to determine African representatives at next year’s Olympic Games.

The tournament will be played in Morocco from November 26 to December 10.

In terms of an agreement reached at the Safa-PSL joint liaison committee gathering, the National First Division clubs are obliged to release all the selected players in exchange for the suspension of matches involving the affected teams.

PSL clubs will set free one player per club, but others have agreed to release two.

However, coach Shakes Mashaba might have to do without the services of two key players – Bongani Ndulula and Thandani Ntshumayelo – who returned from Algeria with injuries.

Director of national teams Ace Kika yesterday said the two were not in the selected team as they were not sure about the extent of their injuries.

He said team doctor Desmond Lamola was in contact with Orlando Pirates and SuperSport United.

The pair’s absence will be a big blow to the team as they played a key role in the qualifiers.

Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said the meeting was held in good spirit and he applauded the two organisations.

“The problem of club versus country is a big thing in world football and we are not unique, but at least here we could sit and talk. The problem is that anything that is outside the Fifa calendar is problematic and you cannot push clubs,” he said.

He said Safa had since sought clarity from CAF about the status of the tournament but had not received any response.

Safa wanted to invoke a clause that allows the association to punish any team that refuses to release players for national duty, but since the tournament falls outside the Fifa calendar, it is impossible to do so.

“CAF says it’s not a unique South African problem as Egypt and Morocco also experienced the same challenges.”

PSL chairperson Irvin Khoza said the league was supportive of the national team’s endeavours to qualify for the Olympic Games.
“The league will never sabotage the national team, hence we agreed to release the players.”

Kika said he was still awaiting response from Bloemfontein Celtic, Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits about the availability of their players.

Celtic had initially refused to release defender Eric Mathoho for friendlies in Algeria, basing their argument on the fact that they had allowed Buhlebuyeza Mkhwanazi to travel, as per the agreement with the league of one player per team. Mashaba has since dropped Mkhwanazi and opted for Mathoho.

Kika said Sundowns had not responded on the availability of Jabulani Shongwe and Themba Zwane.

Wits’ Sibusiso Vilakazi and Bongolethu Jayiya have been selected.

AmaZulu and Black Leopards have agreed to release two players each, while Ajax Cape Town have also undertaken to free defender Thulani Hlatshwayo.

Kika said the team assembles tomorrow morning and leaves in the evening.

“The challenge we have is that teams are playing this weekend and anything can happen with injuries. We will only be able to assess the players (tomorrow). CAF wants all the players to be medically screened so that there are no reasons to withdraw them during the tournament.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.