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The 23-year-old opted not to play for Bafana against Botswana, because he feared that his old groin injury might be coming back

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has reiterated that Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Thulani Serero was not injured for Bafana’s final Group A qualifier match against Botswana.

Serero allegedly requested to be withdrawn from the starting eleven on Friday, after he was earlier told by Igesund that he is going to start against the Zebras.

The 23-year-old reportedly indicated to the Bafana assistant coach Serame Letsoaka that he’s got a big Uefa Champions League game coming up, hence he didn’t want to injure himself while playing for Bafana.

“He didn’t fake the injury, and I never said he faked injury. He said to me very clearly that he wasn’t injured, but he was scared to get injured and he’s got a big game coming up,” Igesund told reporters at the Orlando Stadium.

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Igesund revealed that he was shocked by Serero’s sudden decision to pull out on the eleventh hour having trained the entire week without any complications.

“From Monday to Friday, he (Serero) never went to get treatment once to say I am injured; for the whole week,” added Igesund.

Serero was then kicked out of the Bafana camp on Friday night, but Igesund confirmed that he would like the attacking midfielder to come back and represent his country despite their differences.

“He is still young and the door is still open. We need players like him for the national team,” concluded Igesund.

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However, it is unclear whether Serero will still be interested in working with Igesund or not, as there are reports that he might be considering an early retirement from international football.

Moreover, Serero could face the music as Igesund threatened to report the matter to Safa to deal with the player immediately after the Botswana game.

Bafana are in action against Zimbabwe in an international friendly tonight (Tuesday) at the Orlando Stadium. The kick-off is at 20h30.

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