South Africa under-20 coach Thabo Senong is set for yet another club versus country battle, this time over the services of SuperSport United youngster Teboho Mokoena for the upcoming Fifa under-20 World Cup.
The 20-year-old has already made a name for himself at Matsatsanta. Most recently, he was awarded the man of the match award against Polokwane City.
However, despite his inclusion in Senong’s 21-man squad, SuperSport are adamant that they will not be releasing the midfielder.
“He simply can’t go, and he accepts that,” SuperSport CEO Matthews told the Weekend Argus .
“The club has a lot of injuries and Teboho (Mokoena) has been massive in this time. We have Michael Morton injured again, Cole Alexander hasn’t been available for months, Bradley Grobler and Kingston Nkhatha are also injured,” he explained.
“I am going to be losing Michael Boxall to the Fifa Confederations Cup in June, which means he will miss some of our Caf Confederation Cup group stages matches and the Nedbank Cup final if we reach it,” he continued.
“We know that young players would love to be at this World Cup stage wearing their national team colours, but we are asking for a compromise,” said Matthews.
While Mokoena will not be released for the tournament, Matthews has stated that the club will allow Mondli Mpoto and Sipho Mbule to travel with Amajita to South Korea.
“In the past we have given the national team six of our players, and we will release all the others they have selected for this World Cup, but not Teboho (Mokoena),” he said.
“We have told him. The club believes he will progress much quicker playing for us than going to the World Cup, and he understands that,” Matthews concluded.