Igesund kicks Serero out of Bafana squad, sends him back to Holland

2013-09-09 00:00

IF Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has one good quality, it is passion.

He is proud to be the coach of the national team, and he expects the same from his players. So when Thulani Serero was kicked out of the squad on Friday — the eve of Bafana’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Botswana — for saying that he didn’t want to play for fear of getting injured ahead of a Champions League clash against Barcelona for his club Ajax Amsterdam on September 18, it was no surprise.

According to Igesund, Serero claimed to have a “tight muscle” and said that he felt he should not play. After consultation with the team doctor, Serero was reportedly told that he was fit to play, but still he was not up for the task.

After a meeting with Igesund and the Bafana technical team on Friday, Serero was told that his services would no longer be required and that he would be returning to Holland.

“For me, that is unacceptable. I can’t take that,” Igesund said of the situation. “There was no patriotism there. I want a team of players who want to play for South Africa and want to put that jersey on.”

Igesund also questioned why Serero agreed to come to South Africa in the first place if he knew that he didn’t want to play.

“The truth of the matter is that Thulani Serero turned his back on us because he wanted to play in the Champions League,” said Igesund.

“We didn’t rush the decision, but after applying my mind I decided that I didn’t want anything to upset the group of players that I have or are so passionate about representing their country.”

Igesund added that Serero was released from the camp, taken to the hotel next door, looked after in terms of meals and then escorted to the airport to get on the plane “to go back to where he wanted to be so desperately”.

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