Moeneeb Josephs retires from South African national team

The Buccaneers shot-stopper has decided to call time on his Bafana Bafana career at a stage when the national team is set to play two qualifiers in the space of two weeks
Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Moeneeb Josephs has announced his retirement from international football with South Africa.

The 32-year-old will no longer represent Bafana Bafana, following almost a decade of service to the national team, most of which was spent as backup to first choice Kaizer Chiefs keeper Itumeleng Khune.

While many voices in the media have speculated that Josephs' decision is as a result of the competition between himself and the Amakhosi shot-stopper, a statement released by the Cape Town-born player maintained that injury and family commitments were the source of this sudden change of heart.

"I have been fortunate to be a part of the South African national football team for the past nine years. I have represented South Africa on 22 occasions. On each of these occasions I have been proud and honoured to represent our Rainbow Nation," his statement read.

"It is with a heavy heart, and after careful consideration and discussion with both my family and manager, that I have elected to retire from international football with immediate effect. At the age of 32, keeping in mind the injuries that I have sustained, together with my desire to prolong my career, and considering the fantastic young goalkeepers in our country, I believe that it is the correct time to "step aside".

"In addition, I have spent very little time with my family in recent years, and I believe this decision will give me the opportunity to do so."

Bafana's first choice keeper at the 2008 African Cup of Nations tournament ended his statement by wishing his former national team-mates luck in their World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia on June 1, and Botswana on June 9.

"I would like to thank Safa and all the managerial coaching staff for the honour and privilege they have afforded me by representing our national soccer team. I wish Pitso and the boys all the very best in their upcoming qualifiers!"