Stupid of Safa to entertain self-serving egotist Serero
● It’s 2013. Occasion: A 2014 World Cup qualification match between Bafana Bafana and Botswana.
There is a ruction in camp. Thulani Serero refuses to play and is thrown out of camp. Below is how coach Gordon Igesund, who had informed Serero as early as Thursday that he was going to start the match, explained it then.
“He trained on Thursday and he then went to my team doctor to tell him he’s got a tight muscle in his thigh or groin area. The doctor checked him out and he is 100% and there is no groin injury. The doctor had six or seven players in the team with tight muscles. He trained that session and again he was outstanding, looking very good and moving the ball around. Excellent.”
On Friday, Serero told then-assistant Serame Letsoaka that he didn’t want to play. “I was quite shocked with that and I called Thulani, my doctor and my assistant coach to a meeting in my room,” Igesund said. “I asked Thulani, ‘Are you injured’? He said, ‘I have a tight muscle and I’m scared I might injure myself’. So I said, ‘Thulani, you got to work with me here, son. You know I want you in the team and now you say you don’t want to play’. So I asked him, ‘What do you want me to say when people ask me why you are not playing?’, and he said if they ask him he would say no comment . . . The doctor was there and I asked him, ‘I want to know from you, doctor, has Thulani got a slight injury?’ The doctor said he doesn’t have an injury and he’s got a tight muscle like six or seven other players.
“It turns out Thulani told the doctor that he doesn’t want to play because he’s got a big game in Holland next week, a Uefa Champions League match and he can’t afford to get injured. There was no patriotism there. I can’t take that, that is unacceptable. I was annoyed because why did he even come. He was even arrogant at some stage and he stood up
Our national team should stop operating on the mood swings of players
and said, ‘If you want me to say I’m injured, then I will say I’m injured’. That really got me going . . . The truth of the matter is that Thulani Serero turned his back on us because he wants to play in the Champions League . . . That is insulting in my opinion.” That was Serero’s to hell with you, Gordon.
It’s December 2014. Occasion: Preparation for Afcon 2015. Serero fails to report for camp. Ironically, when Serero found breaking into the Ajax first team a mountain to climb, he was relegated to the molehill of the club’s reserves. No game time at the club but Shakes Mashaba still called him up over and over. Serero went Awol when he was supposed to join his teammates in camp for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations. That was Serero’s screw you too, Shakes.
It’s November 2017. Occasion: A crucial 2018 World Cup qualification clash between Bafana and Senegal.
Breaking news: Serero tells Dutch media that he will never honour a Bafana call-up unless he is guaranteed game time. Then, SA needed all shoulders to the wheel. But alas, the country wasn’t a priority. We couldn’t guarantee him game time. Back then incumbent Bafana coach Stuart Baxter said: “This is a national team, not a club team, there is no guaranteeing people places. So if he doesn’t feel it an honour enough to be called up to the national camp, he may as well stay where he is. Whether that’s permanent or not, I certainly don’t know. I am marking his column. We have asked him to put that in writing. But he has certainly told us that he is not going to join the camp.”
What has changed? Nothing. Strange coincidence that Baxter’s boss Danny Jordaan hinted at Serero’s return prior to the squad announcement.
What have we here? A player who has committed a litany of crimes against his country and three coaches has been rewarded with a recall. Gerrara here.
It is stupid of Safa to entertain the selfserving serial sulker Serero. When his spirit moves him, Serero is a class act, blessed with the uncanny ability to weave witchcraft on the opposition akin to a demon-possessed zombie. But Bafana is no place for an egotist with an exaggerated view of himself.