South Africa head coach Molefi Ntseki has explained why he will not consider Gaston Sirino and Samir Nurkovic for national team selection for now.
This comes after Serbian marksman Nurkovic, who has impressed at Kaizer Chiefs this season, declared himself available for Bafana Bafana.
While Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane has called for the inclusion of his influential Uruguayan playmaker Sirino in the Bafana squad in the past.
Sirino and Nurkovic are yet to play for their national teams at senior and junior level which makes them eligible for South Africa.
However, Ntseki, who has been in charge of the national team since last August, insisted that he is only focused on profiling South African-born players.
“The attention that we are giving is to profile South African players. We must be very careful. Let me make an example about Sirino and Nurkovic," Ntseki told IOL.
"Are we giving enough attention to what we have before we can move for a player that has to be naturalized? Are we comparing that player with what we have in the country and giving opportunities to what we have in the country?
“If you go to the junior teams, all the junior teams have given our players an opportunity to play for their country. That’s why most of them are playing overseas."
Tunisia, who lost to Bafana in the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) final, have enjoyed some success with naturalized players from Brazil in the past.
The Brazil-born duo of Francileudo dos Santos and Jose Clayton played an integral role in helping the Carthage Eagles clinch the Afcon title in 2004 with the former being the joint top scorer in the competition.
"I’m talking about the likes of Lyle Foster, Gift Links, Kabomelo Kodisang, Liam Jordan and Luther Singh. These players played for our junior teams and they are now in the overseas market,” Ntseki explained.
“If we don’t have anybody who can be of a level of the second player, it means we will always be looking into that player. Let’s say we approach a [naturalized] player and we say we are interested in him playing for our country but that has to be done in such a way that the player will be protected and the coach will also be protected.
"What will happen if that player doesn’t have a good first game or second game? People will start to say all the negative things about that player. We need to do it properly."
Ntseki indicated when the 2022 Fifa World Cup and 2021 Afcon qualifiers start he will only focus on South African-born players.
“For me, it is a very long process that has to be done properly without emotions but we should be highly tactical and technical to decide on such players. It might not be Ntseki alone doing this but it has to be done in the right manner,” Ntseki said.
“Let us make an example of Rushine De Reuck. He was born [in South Africa] in 1996 and then there is someone like Ricardo Nascimento [who is a Brazilian player] from Sundowns.
“Nascimento is older than Rushine. If you were to overlook Rushine, who are you disadvantaging? People will say instead of helping in the development of football and selecting Rushine, you’ve decided to convert a non-South African to be a South African. That is the reality of the situation and that’s why I say we should not be emotional about it.”
The 2021 Afcon finals have been postponed to 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.