Benni back to boost Bafana in Challenge

2008-11-17 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — There was good and bad news for Bafana Bafana coach Joel Santana as the squad assembled yesterday and travelled to Rustenburg where they will meet Cameroon in the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge at Olympia Park tomorrow night.

The good news is that Blackburn Rovers striker and leading goal scorer Benni McCarthy has agreed to play despite burying his father in Cape Town on Saturday. There was much speculation about whether he will be in the right frame of mind after his loss.

The bad news is that Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar is out.

Pienaar, who was on the bench when Everton drew 1-1 against Middlesbrough on Sunday, has apparently suffered a recurrence of an old injury and failed a fitness test, according to his club.

McCarthy, who in the past was criticised by the media and public for lack of commitment, has shown that his heart is firmly with his country.

Bafana team manager Sipho Nkumane said: “We allowed Benni to make his decision without any pressure. We understand what a loss he has suffered and would have fully understood if he decided not to play. But he has shown his commitment to Bafana and we are delighted.

“It is the coach’s final game of the year before he selects his squad for next year’s Confederation Cup. Benni’s decision is a huge boost for the squad and our chances of beating Cameroon.”

But Nkumane is not too pleased with Everton. He explained: “I got a message from Everton on Sunday telling me that they want Pienaar to stay in England so they can assess his injury. They left it late so that we could not force him to travel to Johannesburg.

“Frankly, our hands are tied. I just hope that Everton are not pulling the wool over our eyes.

“We will have something to say if he plays for his club at the weekend.

“But we have to accept what the Everton medical team tells us at face value.” — Sapa.

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
 

Chocolate can be fatal for dogs

Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine that is similar to caffeine and is toxic to dogs at certain levels.

 
 

Paws

Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Watch: Proof animals have souls
Would you clone your pet?
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
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.