Tensions wrack Bafana camp

2010-06-21 11:01

There is a huge rift within the Bafana Bafana camp, with a serious

team disharmony stemming from disgruntled players who are upset with coach

Carlos Parreira’s selection and tactics.

City Press has been reliably informed that all is not well in the

Bafana camp ahead of their crucial World Cup game against France on


Bafana need a convincing victory over the 1998 world champions if

they are to advance to the last 16 of the tournament.

This could be Parreira’s last game in charge of Bafana if they fail

to progress to the knockout stage.

A source within the team said players from KwaZulu-Natal were

feeling alienated and were of the view that certain members of the team got

preferential treatment from the technical team.

“It is clear that he (Parreira) has his favourite players but that

has not gone well with other players who feel they could have done better. He is

stubborn and always reminds people that he has 40 years coaching experience,”

said the source.

Parreira has stuck with the same team bar Lucas Thwala in the

opening two games.

He took long to make substitutions even when the chips were down

against Uruguay.

He has overlooked MacBeth Sibaya, Siyabonga Nomvethe, Thanduyise

Khuboni and Siyabonga Sangweni – who all come from KZN.

Siboniso Gaxa is the only player from the coastal province who has

seen action in the opening two games.

Bafana’s body language in their 3-0 loss to Uruguay said it all and

the source said there was ill-feelings ­towards the Brazilian mentor.

Although Sibaya has denied the there is tension, he did give an

indication that they were not entirely happy with the operations. He said

players lacked character in the game against Uruguay.

“It was an awkward game for us ­because they (Uruguay) knew what to

expect from us but we were clueless about them. Some teams do plan for us but we

went there with the same approach as in the first game and I am sure we could

have done better than that,” said Sibaya.

Further denying that there existed a rift, he said: “This is

expected when things don’t go well but the spirit in the camp is high and we are

looking forward to the France game on Tuesday.”

Striker Katlego Mphela said he was unhappy that he played as a lone

striker, adding that he felt isolated.

“As you saw, Uruguay played with three strikers because they wanted

to score goals, and we still went with one striker. We didn’t have a plan to

counter them. But I am not a coach and don’t know a lot about tactics,” he said,

without elaborating.

Matthew Booth, an unused substitute so far, also entered the fray.

“I think our performance against Mexico was pure adrenalin. The second and third

games are always games where players tend to show their true qualities. We don’t

have a lot of depth,” he told BBC’s Sportsworld programme.

Bafana manager Dennis Mumble denied any knowledge of tension but

said he would consider it a positive rift if players were fighting for a place

in the starting line-up. “But if players are complaining ... and not to the

coach, then it is hypocritical because they are given a platform every night to

express their views,” said Mumble.

He also said players should not question the coach’s tactics as

they were not coaches.

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