Bafana Bafana

Bafana Bafana doctor takes exception to lack of communication claims from Sundowns

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Safa chief medical officer Thulani Ngwenya. (Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
Safa chief medical officer Thulani Ngwenya. (Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
  • SAFA chief medical officer Thulani Ngwenya has entered the fray in the protracted public spat between Hugo Broos and Rulani Mokwena.
  • Broos and Mokwena have had ongoing public utterances aimed at one another over Mamelodi Sundowns players of national interest.
  • Ngwenya has refuted Mokwena's claims that the national team's technical team and medical department does not communicate with club's when players return injured.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) chief medical officer Thulani Ngwenya has responded to the comments made by Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena.

It all started when Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos publicly criticised certain Premier Soccer League (PSL) clubs for sabotaging the Belgian's national camps.

The 69-year-old Broos dealt with plenty of mishaps during the lead up to Bafana Bafana's back-to-back matches against Ethiopia.

But Masandawana scheduling a Covid-19 vaccination for Thabiso Kutumela during the national camp was when Broos decided enough was enough.

Mokwena responded to Broos' claims, saying: "It's a very, very difficult situation with Bafana. We can't even communicate with the medical department.

"We don't know the itinerary of Bafana; we don't know the training programme of Bafana. We don't get training feedback in relation to the [player training] load; there's no data.

"So, the cooperation with Bafana frustrates us a little bit."

Rulani Mokwena
Rulani Mokwena (Gallo Images)
Gallo Images

Broos then stated that Mokwena "must call" him when he feels that there is an issue.

Joining the public disagreement now is Ngwenya..

READ HERE | Broos' Bafana jump whopping seven places in latest FIFA rankings

Mokwena stated that the Bafana Bafana technical team and the medical department does not communicate with club's when players return injured.

"That is not true. You see, it becomes a problem when technical people are going to communicate about medical matters," Ngwenya told Sport24 exclusively.

"Medical matters are communicated with medical people. So, if there is anything that got to do with injuries, it's between doctor and doctor.

"We still communicate with the clubs; when players have to come to the national team, we check with the clubs, the medical doctors, not with the technical people.

"The medical doctors are responsible for players at club level. We communicate with them what to look at in terms of game loading or injuries and what they are worried about.

"When players are injured while on national duty, we communicate with their respective clubs immediately."

Ngwenya continued:

So, I am not sure when are technical people going to communicate on medical matters. It is not right. I am not happy that technical people are communicating about medical matters without asking their medical team. We're constantly communicating with clubs. I know that for a fact. So, it cannot be true that we don't send medical reports to the club.

Ngwenya revealed that he is in constant communication with all PSL club medical staff and that they also have a WhatsApp group.

"I am challenging any medical staff that would say we didn't communicate with them," he said.

"Why would they start complaining now? That is my biggest question. I have been with Bafana Bafana for ten years.

"There have been other coaches at Sundowns. Why would they start complaining now?

"So, technical people must not talk about medical matters because these are sensitive matters. We also have a WhatsApp group with all the PSL doctors. So, we communicate quite often." 

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