Bafana out­cast May de­serves an­other chance, pleads Khan

Men­tor says star is ‘dy­ing’ to re­turn to na­tional squad

Sowetan - - Sport - By Go­molemo Motshwane

Stars of Africa Academy boss Farouk Khan hopes that the na­tional team ban on May Mahlangu will be lifted af­ter fel­low out­cast Thu­lani Serero was handed a sec­ond chance with Bafana Bafana. Serero was sur­pris­ingly named in Bafana’s 23-man squad to take on Nige­ria in Af­con qual­i­fier on Novem­ber 17. The Hol­land-based at­tacker, who plays for Vitesse, was ex­iled from the team af­ter he had sug­gested he would only hon­our a call-up if he plays. Mahlangu had a sim­i­lar trans­gres­sion as he was ban­ished in 2016 af­ter de­clin­ing a call-up, cit­ing fa­tigue.

“May is play­ing reg­u­larly at his club and is do­ing well, so I think he is one of the play­ers who de­serves to be given a chance in the na­tional team,” Khan said of the Se­cunda, Mpumalanga-born Mahlangu. “I know May and he is dy­ing to con­trib­ute to Bafana but there is not much he can do, all he can do is to con­tinue to work hard. I do hope some­thing can be done to bring him back in the fold ... he has been out in the cold for too long.” At the time of his ban, Safa clamped down hard on Mahlangu as the or­gan­i­sa­tion an­nounced its de­ci­sion, with then CEO Den­nis Mum­ble say­ing “we will not tol­er­ate an in­di­vid­ual who does not take na­tional call-ups se­ri­ously”. Although Khan did not agree with his de­ci­sion, he feels the Lu­do­gorets Raz­grad (Bul­garia) player de­serves for­give­ness. “I wasn’t in favour of his de­ci­sion not to come but I think we have to move for­ward now and not con­tinue to pun­ish him,” Khan said. Mahlangu, 29, last played for Bafana in a friendly against Mozam­bique two years ago.

‘‘ I think he is one of the play­ers who de­serves to be given a chance

/ LUKE WALKER/GALLO IMAGES

May Mahlangu last played for SA two years ago.

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