Baxter gets the bul­let

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - MI­NENHLE MKHIZE

BAFANA BAFANA coach Stu­art Baxter is go­ing to have to find new play­ers to do duty for the na­tional team in their Chan qual­i­fier against Zam­bia.

This after Premier­ship clubs AmaZulu and Su­per­Sport United said yes­ter­day they are not go­ing to re­lease their se­lected play­ers for the Au­gust 12 and 19 clashes with Chipolopolo.

On Mon­day, Baxter an­nounced a his squad for the fi­nal leg of the qual­i­fiers for the bi­en­nial tour­na­ment for lo­cal-based play­ers that will take place in Kenya next year. The play­ers are ex­pected to re­port to camp on Sun­day.

But Su­per­Sport coach Eric Tin­kler said his play­ers are stay­ing with the club.

“No, they won’t be join­ing Bafana.”

All four of Te­boho Mokoena, Sipho Mbule, Cole Alexan­der, Den­win Farmer and Siyabonga Nh­lapo have been called up.

But Tin­kler found it strange that Farmer, for one, was even con­sid­ered.

“Den­win is in­jured. He dis­lo­cated his shoulder. I don’t know why he was called up. But I am not re­leas­ing the other play­ers.”

Su­per­Sport face Kaizer Chiefs in an MTN8 match at the Moses Mab­hida Sta­dium on the evening of the day Bafana play Zam­bia.

Iron­i­cally, Chiefs team man­ager Bobby Mo­taung con­firmed that they would re­lease Ryan Moon and Bruce Bavuma to the squad.

From AmaZulu, Baxter has called up Michael Mor­ton, Boalefa Pule and Ayab­ulela Kon­qobe.

But man­ager Qedi Dlamini said the trio will not hon­our the call up.

“We have made the de­ci­sion not to re­lease our play­ers. We have al­ready told Mor­ton and we will also in­form other play­ers.”

AmaZulu’s rea­son­ing is that they have league com­mit­ments.

“We are play­ing Free State Stars at home on Au­gust 19 and these three play­ers are key in our squad,” Dlamini ex­plained “Mor­ton and Pule are still new and they need to gel with their team­mates. But how can they do that if they are in and out of the squad? We re­spect the na­tional team but, on the other hand, we have to pre­pare our­selves proper for the new sea­son.”

Be­cause the Chan matches do not fall un­der the Fifa date, the clubs are not obliged to re­lease play­ers.

Ef­forts to get a com­ment from Safa proved fu­tile with me­dia man Do­minic Chimhavi re­fer­ring In­de­pen­dent Me­dia to team man­ager Barney Ku­jane whose phone rang unan­swered and mes­sages left for him, were not re­turned.

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