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Afcon: Bafana Bafana defender Rivaldo Coetzee goes AWOL

4:32 PM WAT 07/06/2019
Rivaldo Coetzee
Coetzee had a scintillating season with Sundowns after recovering from an heel injury, but he will miss the Afcon finals after going AWOL

Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter says Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rivaldo Coetzee has not reported for training since Sunday. 

According to Baxter, Coetzee was given permission to go see his mother whom he reported being critically ill. 

“Rivaldo called me the day we were assembling and said his mother was critically ill, and he didn’t think she would make it through the night,” Baxter told the media. 

The Kakamas-born defender was included in the Englishman’s squad as they prepare for the Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt

“He asked for permission to go (to her) and I said ‘of course you can go, but you will miss training, what have you been doing?',” said the coach.

“I asked him how much training he had done in the last three weeks and he said nothing. I said 'Ok, that is a challenge', but we gave him permission to go to his mother."

The former Kaizer Chiefs manager confirmed that his camp has not heard anything from the ex-Ajax Cape Town star and has ruled him out of his squad en route to Cairo.

“We then heard nothing from him for three days, the team doctors tried to get in touch with him, and heard nothing, all I know now he is in the Northern Cape somewhere. He is unselectable," continued Baxter. 

“I have got to be careful. If his mother is critically ill, I don’t want to make it sound (bad)... but we have not been able to contact him and if you want to play in the national team, at least be in touch with the coach to tell him you are not coming."

The defender has been converted by Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane to play as a midfielder at Chloorkop and he was named in Baxter's provisional squad last month, but it is not clear whether the coach will look for his replacement or not.