Sundowns defender Madisha replaces Kaizer Chiefs centre-back Mathoho in Bafana Bafana squad

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South Africa must beat Burkina Faso to keep their Fifa World Cup dreams alive, but they will have to do without the services of the Amakhosi defender

The South African Football Association (Safa) has announced the withdrawal of Erick Mathoho from the Bafana Bafana squad that will face Burkina Faso in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier next weekend. 

This comes after Fifa's decision to suspended Mathoho for two matches on top of a R70 000 fine for 'committing an act of unsporting conduct against an opponent' in the clash between South Africa and Cape Verde Islands four weeks ago. 

Mathoho, 27, was sent off for the off-the-ball incident, and subsequently missed Bafana's return leg against the Blue Sharks at the Moses Mabhida Stadium four days later. 

Coach Stuart Baxter included him in his latest squad as he was hoping the player would be given a lesser punishment by Fifa. 

The lanky defender has since been replaced by Mamelodi Sundowns centre-back Motjeka Madisha, who has been a regular under Pitso Mosimane over the last few months. 

Below is Fifa's communiqué to Safa regarding the suspension of Mathoho:

Erick Mathoho is regarded as having breached art. 48 par. 1 c) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code by committing an act of unsporting conduct against an opponent in the scope of the match played between the representative teams Cape Verde Islands and South Africa on 1 September 2017 within the frame of the Preliminary Competition for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

The player Erick Mathoho is suspended for two matches including the automatic match suspension, which was served in the match played between the representative teams of South Africa and Cape Verde Islands on 5 September 2017. The following match suspension has to be served during the match to be played between the representative teams of South Africa and Burkina Faso, scheduled on 7 October 2017.

The player is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of CHF 5,000 (R70 000) in accordance with art.10 c) and art. 15 of the FIFA Disclipinary Committee (FDC).

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The Kaizer Chiefs defender has once again apologised to the entire nation for the incident, and wished Bafana Bafana well against Burkina Faso. 

“Words fail me when I think of the incident and the red card itself, but from the bottom of my heart I want to once again apologise for my actions – to the entire Bafana Bafana team and all the football loving fans,” Mathoho told the Safa website.

“Let me also take this opportunity to wish the team all the best against Burkina Faso in this crucial match. I know it’s not going to be easy but I have confidence that they will get positive results. We did not do well in the last two matches but I believe we will rise again, starting with this upcoming clash. Good luck to all,” concluded Tower.

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