Robyn Johannes replaces Thulani Hlatshwayo in Bafana squad

South Africa's national team captain Thulani Hlatshwayo has been ruled out of their crunch qualifier against Burkina Faso

The 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier is a must-win game for Bafana Bafana and the hosts received a major blow with three key central defenders all out.

Rivaldo Coetzee was already out through injury, Erick Mathoho's suspended and now Hlatshwayo has a knee injury.

31-year-old Cape Town City defender Robyn Johannes comes in and he is relatively inexperienced with just three caps. Johannes was recently promoted as City's new captain.

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Clayton Daniels and Morgan Gould are also in the running to start against Burkina Faso.



Mathoho was withdrawn from the Bafana Bafana squad as he has to serve his two-game suspension for the red card he received in the 2-1 loss to Cape Verde last month (1 September 2017).

Motjeka Madisha of Mamelodi Sundowns has been called up to replace Mathoho.

The towering defender was part of the 25-man squad called up by Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter, pending a decision from the FIFA Disciplinary Committee (FDC), which sat on Friday, 28 September to deliberate on the match ban.

According to a communiqué from FIFA:

“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 in accordance with art.10 c) and art. 15 of the FIFA Disclipinary Committee (FDC).

Mathoho has once again apologised to the nation for the incident.

“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,” said Mathoho.

“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.”

Bafana Bafana assemble for camp on Sunday, 1 October and will face the Burkinabe on Saturday, 7 October 2017 at FNB Stadium.

Kickoff is at 15h00.

South Africa played to a 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso in Ouagadougou in October last year. Dean Furman scored for Bafana Bafana.

The West Africans remain unbeaten in Group D of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, on six points – level with Cape Verde, but Burkina Faso lead the group due to a better goal difference.

Senegal lies in third position with five points, while South Africa is bottom of the table with one point.

Meanwhile, Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has revealed that the team will not play an international friendly match after the clash with Burkina Faso.

“Our friendly game has been cancelled. There will be an internal eleven against eleven once we’ve done our recuperation after the Burkina Faso game. That will be for me to monitor all the players," he said.