Benni’s exclusion ‘brutal and heartless’

2010-06-01 10:09

Perhaps Benni McCarthy doesn’t deserve to be part of the Bafana Bafana World Cup

team. But the national team’s all-time leading goal scorer does not deserve the

way his exclusion from the team was handled either, writes Elijah Moholola.

It was cruel to call McCarthy for the South Africa camp only to

discard him at the 11th hour.

Why get the man to fly all the way from England, humiliate him

through statements that he was overweight, get him to sweat in an attempt to

shed weight and then drop him like he’s hot?

McCarthy only played about 20 of the 360 minutes played in

friendlies (against Thailand, Bulgaria, Colombia and Guatemala) when he came on

as a substitute against Colombia.

That was an indication that he was not really needed in the


This also validates the conspiracy theorists’ claims that

McCarthy’s omission is Safa’s way of finally dealing with the striker.

McCarthy has, in his 13-year Bafana career, had numerous tiffs with

the Safa leadership – including the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations saga.

He snubbed national call-ups more often than not, and has even been

accused of picking and choosing games.

This caused Safa numerous headaches.

So, is excluding him from the World Cup squad a way of making him

pay for all his past misdemeanours?

Quite frankly, McCarthy – fat or not fat – is the best South

African striker at the moment.

If Siyabonga Nomvethe can be yanked from the wilderness and get a

World Cup lifeline, why not McCarthy?

The truth of the matter is, even if he is 75% fit, McCarthy is

better than a 100% fit Nomvethe and Katlego Mphela on any given day.

Surely, McCarthy shed a few kilos and the programme he had been on

since he reported for camp. Why then undo all that?

This is brutal and heartless.

When McCarthy’s face was shown on TV during last night’s game

against Guatemala, it was such a sad sight.

It was a face of a man who was broken, battered and bruised –

probably wondering why he had to be made to go through what he was going


If Carlos Parreira and Safa did not need McCarthy in the team, they

should not have bothered calling him up for camp in the first place.

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