Shakes Mashaba accuses Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter of favouritism

Shakes Mashaba of Bafana Bafana
The veteran coach stressed the importance of having Gabuza in the national team with Bafana set to face Libya

Former South Africa coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba has accused Stuart Baxter of favouritism in the national team.

Coach Baxter's Bafana Bafana side is scheduled to face Libya in a must-win 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier in Egypt in March.

“I think number one, something that’s going to make us win (the crucial Afcon qualifiers against Libya) is to stop favouritism,” Mashaba said on IOL.

“As a coach, work with your technical team. Number two; stop playing when you are told that we are good to play without a certain player," he continued.

Many have called for Orlando Pirates player Xola Mlambo's inclusion in the Bafana squad with the midfield maestro having established himself as one of the top central midfielders in the country.

“Sit on the grandstand, and watch players play. I’d like to say to the current coach (Baxter), do things with an open and inquiring mind,"

During Mashaba's tenure as Bafana coach players like Thulani Serero and Kamohelo Mokotjo refused to honour national team call-ups unless they were guaranteed starting berths.

However, the two European-based players have since recalled to the national team by coach Baxter.

“With the current situation, there are players who do not deserve to be in the national team, I don’t care what people say. But they are there, but how? I don’t know,” Mashaba said.

“There are players who deserve to be in the team and they are not there. I used to say if you think you good or the best for the team, and you don’t want to play, then it’s fine. I had the mentality that, in the absence of the best, make the worst (the) best," he continued.

The retired defender went on to stress the importance of having a striker like Thamsanqa Gabuza, who was part of Mashaba's Bafana squad.

“When you come to football, don’t come with your agendas or allowed to be told a certain player is not good enough," Mashaba said.

“We used to keep Gabuza in the national team... we told him straight what we expected from him, and nothing else. After that, he can do anything, and he listened," he said.

Mashaba went on to slam Pirates head coach Milutin 'Micho' Sredojevic, who was not pleased with Gabuza after the striker ranted at the supporters for their booing him during the club's PSL match against Polokwane City in August 2018.

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“I was disappointed about the Pirates coach (Milutin Sredojevic) when Gabuza was doing what he was doing. He (Sredojevic) comes out on the television ‘He’s Out of Order’! What kind of a coach are you, killing a player like that?” he asked.

Mashaba was sacked by the South African Football Association (Safa) for misconduct in December 2016.

He was recently appointed Witbank Spurs head coach.