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Igesund explains Serero Axing

Posted: 7 September 2013 Time: 19:42

South Africa coach Gordon Igesund has revealed what went down with Thulani Serero, who was kicked out of the Bafana camp for ‘disciplinary reasons’.

VIDEO: Igesund explains Serero situation

Nothing is lost in translation as Igesund puts it word for word and he is adamant it was not a harsh decision. Read on ...

What happened?

Igesund is joined on the podium by his assistant Serame Letsoaka, goalkeeper coach Alex Heredia and team doctor, Carl Tabane and tells us the full story.

“I’m gonna tell you what went down exactly word for word, situation for situation. On Thursday I had already informed Thulani Serero that he’s been excellent at training, he’s performing well and I need him to take it to the next step. I said to him everyone in this country knows he plays in Holland and I asked him to show the people in this country what kind of a player he is. I said, ‘I’m gonna tell you right now that I’m gonna start you on Saturday (against Botswana). I want you to start expressing yourself and getting in the right frame of mind’. I know he is a type of player that I need to get into his mind and start working. He trained on Thursday and he then went to my team doctor to tell him he’s got a tight muscle in his thigh/groin area. The doctor checked him out and said he is okay - he is 100% and there is a no groin injury. The doctor had six or seven players in the team with tight muscles. He trained that session and again he was outstanding, looking very good and moving the ball around. Excellent. On Friday, which was yesterday, my assistant coach Serame came to me and he said Thulani had approached him to tell him he doesn’t want to play. Serame said Thulani felt that he might get injured and he needs to play for his team (Ajax Amsterdam). So I was quite shocked with that and I called Thulani, my doctor and my assistant coach to a meeting in my room. I asked Thulani, ‘Are you injured’? He said, ‘I have a tight muscle and I’m scared I might injure myself’. So I said, ‘Thulani, you got to work with me here son. You know I want you in the team and now you say you don’t want to play’. So I asked him, ‘What do you want me to say when people ask me why you are not playing?’ and he said if they ask him he would say no comment… The doctor was there and I asked him, ‘I want to know from you doctor, has Thulani got a slight injury?’ The doctor said he doesn’t have an injury and he’s got a tight muscle like six or seven other players. It turns out Thulani told the doctor that he doesn’t want to play because he’s got a big game in Holland next week – a UEFA Champions League match and he can’t afford to get injured. There was no patriotism there. I can’t take that, that is unacceptable. I was annoyed because why did he even come. He was even arrogant at some stage and he stood up and said, ‘If you want me to say I’m injured, then I will say I’m injured’. That really got me going… The truth of the matter is that Thulani Serero turned his back on us because he wants to play in the Champions League… That is insulting in my opinion.”

Did you make a decision to release him from camp right and then?

“No, it was not a rushed decision. I told him to go to his room and I went to mine to apply my mind. I thought about it and I made a decision that I made. I know I have done the right thing in that respect, because I didn’t want this to upset my passionate players. After three hours, I told Barney Kujane I was releasing him and he could move him to the hotel next door. We looked after him until he got on a plane to go where he wants to be desperately.” 

Has he got a future with Bafana?

I’ve been very, very surprised with his attitude about certain things and the big head he seems to have developed – like he is better than the rest of the players. As for his future with the national team, I don’t like to make hasty decisions. He’s gonna be called to a hearing I suppose and I will give my report to Safa. I have done my job. I have done what’s right for the team… it was not a harsh decision. He’s a footballer and he was fit to play. His coach Frank (De Boer) was very happy he had been called up because he needs game time.”

Thulani had been out for months with injury until he returned recently, so how much do you think that contributed to him not wanting to play?

“No, no, I can see that you are trying to make an excuse okay. He flew business class that cost R60 000 to fly over here with the intention of not playing.”

What about rumours that he is considering retiring from international football after all this?

“In life, there are decisions to be made. He is 22 and playing for a very big club in Holland, and if he is talking about retirement then he has to make his choices in life. You live and die by the choices you make. I have heard nothing about him wanting to retire, but if he feels he must retire to put his club first I will never victimise him in any way. But we need to be honest. Don’t try and put a wool over someone’s face.”

Previous comments on this story...

Nespray is a movie star look alike coach
posted: 07:44 pm
CJB RAMSES III

My champ...everything is going to be fine. Even my world has been shuttered. I never thought BB can make move emotions...as you can see vandag, my comments are huffing and puffing

LordVinny: you also wanted to get to Brazil...even though you ddnt know how?LOL..you just wanted to see yourself in Sao Paulo beaches in the middle of yellow bones, PITY, BB is never a reliable transport. hang in there my champ

kuzolunga bafowethu
Nespray is a movie star look alike coach
posted: 07:46 pm
Blogas, plz...lets read this article with open minds and comment based on the contents of the article.

Lets prove ukuthi we can engage more maturely without foul language.

thankx in adavance knowing you will cooperate. even Eeemza and Rhino are already high-way through the article, LOL
Nespray is a movie star look alike coach
posted: 07:47 pm
meant: already half-way thru the article.

let me start reading....
lmothibi
posted: 07:54 pm
Good luck Serero what goes up must come down boss ask Mcfatty
The General - Soccer Dude
posted: 07:55 pm
I DON'T ALWAYS AGREE WITH GI'S SELECTION BUT HE MADE A GOOD DECISION TO AXE THAT "ARROGANT BOY". WE DON'T NEED THAT IN THE TEAM.... WHY DID HE EVEN AGREE TO FLY ALL THE WAY TO SA JUST TO PRETEND HE WAS INJURED. I HOPE HIS BEHAVIOUR DOESN'T COME BACK TO HAUNT HIM.
Anonymous
posted: 07:55 pm
He must apply for Netherlands citizenship...and never set his foot here again.
chronic2001(the champ)
posted: 07:55 pm
serero is a good palyer yes but what has he done for bafana bafana,he is just like nay player when he plays for bafana
Anonymous
posted: 07:57 pm
You did the right thing coach. Good luck Serero with his team in Amsterdam.
Dlala khosi lam!!
posted: 07:59 pm
Oh Serero what an immature behavior my boy, we all know how important the champions league and looking at the group you are in...i consider your team out. International football is important for experience and what will happen if you lose form and they start benching you, cant you use Bafana to regain it, yes you can. Thanks for taking this hard decision Gordon....to protect the other players from this kind of attitude. Look Erasmus came in and performed wonderful and I am very happy for him.

Gordon selected you even though you just came back from a long injury and for that you should be grateful, considering that you are yet to make any valuable impact in Bafana. Maybe you should have asked him to play you as a substitute not to turn your back from your own country.
chronic2001(the champ)
posted: 08:00 pm
he wont be selected for the champs league game trust me this guy is not gon make it in europe
Sunday Sekgota
posted: 08:01 pm
This boy thinks he is better than every1.Let him do whatever he thinks is right 4 him.We are sick and tired of players who choose club over country.Players in other countries like Nigeria,Cameroon,Ivory Coast etc who r better dan him choose country over clubs and their country dnt pay them so well
Sunday4th
posted: 08:01 pm
Sorry Serero people are always looking for something to divert the attention. Now its not about GI causing BB to qualify by failing to get a draw against Ethopia. It is now Serero Serero and Serero
Pirates-4-Ever
posted: 08:02 pm
From what I just read... Serero was completely out of line! This is probably the reason Bafana never achieved anything since the year 2000. Im so disappointed in him
Durupane
posted: 08:03 pm
Jali is far better than him. I can't forget two years two years back then, Jali was robbed deservedly Footballer of the season award because those in the know told us that he (Jali) is not disciplined and as a result Serero was given all the awards. We the Jali fans were hurt. But it is the well deserved footballer of the season who is making people cry. I don't like this boy and truly I never liked Thulani Serero. He never deserve the award he were given.
C' Kho'c
posted: 08:05 pm
Lol @ Nespray... Ur a funny man Khosi lami...
madimetsha
posted: 08:05 pm
hehehehehehe, this boy has not achieved anything in Europe and he is playing in a small league in Holland..............he must check with one Quinton Fortune, atleast Fortune was already at Manchester United,................he deserted him when the country needed him the most, ......his head is already big so early, .......I wish him all the best
Azania
posted: 08:05 pm
Until we get Thulani Serero's side of the story, we would not know the truth. If what is reported to be true, then, the country might not need him in future. He is not ready to die with his boots on. He is not a committed soldier.
Let him go. If decent, he could have asked the coach to skip him for this clash for the reasons mentioned. Gordon is not that unreasonable about such issues. But he agreed to come over on a business class to say no.....!
Mxm.
Anti-Zebra
posted: 08:05 pm
Hmmm... Let me think about this...
Black is beautiful
posted: 08:06 pm
Serero must just fukc off and fail in Holland. He reminds of Benni when he had a big head and ended up back in SA
CJB Ramses III
posted: 08:07 pm
Eish Nasteé Nes'... I'm beyond inconsolable.... I can only look forward to Qatar... which is a whimper compared to Brazil...

I can't speak much as my lady is giving me evil eyes for texting during our little date-night....

As for Gordon, if everything is as is verbatim... then Houdini can go to hell... but let's hear his side before we send him to the devils fork....
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