SAFA Calls For Benni McCarthy Return To South Africa

Calls for Safa to include Benni McCarthy in Bafana Bafana’s squad to play Germany and the Republic of Ireland in Europe next month are getting louder.
Two who have joined the growing chorus are former Bafana stars Edward Motale and Phil Masinga, both members of the triumphant squad who won the 1996 African Cup of Nations.

“There’s no doubt that Benni is our best striker and we really need him in the Bafana squad in the build-up to next year’s World Cup tournament,” Motale tells East London’s Daily Dispatch.

“Benni’s presence in the team will make a big difference and we cannot hope to do well at the World Cup when we continue to sideline our best striker. Efforts should be made to ensure that problems between him and Safa are solved.

“Honestly speaking, we cannot rely on [Bernard] Parker to do the job. He tried his best during the Confederations Cup but couldn’t do anything. We must put our pride aside and call Benni at once. We must forgive and forget.”

Masinga echoed Motale’s sentiments, adding that Bafana will be heading for a disastrous tournament should McCarthy be left out of the squad.

“I have said it before and I will say it again that Benni is our best striker and we need him in Bafana," he asserted.

"We cannot go to the World Cup and leave our best striker out of the squad. It’s high time that Safa, Benni and the Bafana coach sit down and sort out whatever problems they have.”

Safa took Bafana skipper Aaron Mokoena to task after he told reporters that McCarthy had been called up for the national team’s clash against Serbia, which they lost 3-1 two weeks ago. His utterances irked Safa bosses, who sent Bafana media officer Matlhomola Morake to seek clarity on the Portsmouth defender’s statement.

Mokoena later acknowledged that he had made a mistake when he said his former Blackburn team-mate had been called up to the team.

Santana’s plans have already received a knock. Injuries to Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune and Mamelodi Sundowns defender Matthew Booth have ruled them out for three months and two months respectively.

Bafana coach Joel Santana is set to announce his squad for the two away matches on Thursday.