Arminia Bielefeld coach Ernst Middendorp.

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Middendorp hits out at Safa

Posted: 21 November 2007 Time: 13:37

Arminia Bielefeld coach Ernst Middendorp has hit out at Safa after the organization wrote to Fifa regarding the Bundesliga outfit’s failure to release Siyabonga Nkosi for the recent Bafana Bafana matches against the USA and Canada.

Kick Off can exclusively reveal that the former Kaizer Chiefs coach is livid by Safa’s actions, especially after they failed to submit a report on an injury Nkosi sustained during Bafana Bafana’s 2-0 loss to Italy in Sienna last month.

The injury sidelined Nkosi for a month, in which Bielefeld sent the 26-year-old for rehabilitation, and he only returned to training last week Tuesday (13 November).

“There is too much nonsense being written about this. Nkosi came back from the Bafana game against Italy last month with an injury. We get reports on all players who return injured from international duty, but we didn’t receive a report from Safa on Nkosi’s groin injury. They were the ones who sent him back to us without informing us of his injury,” Middendorp tells Kick Off.

“We sent him for rehabilitation and he only returned to us last week Tuesday. I can never send a player to international duty if he has not trained for weeks. You know, I always send our players, Sibusiso Zuma, Rowen Fernandez, Nkosi…even if it is just for international friendlies. I never hold players back.

“I spoke to Bafana’s team manager Sipho Nkumane to inform him that Nkosi was unfit and that he returned from Italy injured, but Nkumane insisted that the player was not injured. I don’t know, maybe Nkosi did not inform them of his injury.”

To make matters worse for Middendorp, Nkosi played in a friendly game for Bielefeld yesterday and although the former Kaizer Chiefs star did not play the full 90 minutes, he did manage to get his name on the scoresheet.

But Middendorp scoffed at suggestions that if Nkosi was fit to play for Bielefeld, he could have been deemed fit enough for Bafana.

“Look, the player was sidelined from October 18 to November 13. He did not even train with us. Yesterday was a friendly match, against a team that is in a lower league than the Vodacom League in South Africa. If my players are fit, I will always send them out for national duty, I have absolutely no problem with.”

Middendorp also revealed that Nkosi is doubtful to be included in his squad for this weekend’s away fixture to VfL Bochum, but added that the midfielder will most probably be included for their home match against Bayern Munich on December 2.

Article by: Ernest Fakude

Previous comments on this story...

posted: 01:46 pm
Nkosi, Nkosi, Nkosi!!! Leave this people out. We have the Teko's, Chabangu's, Evans... This boys beat Canada 2-0. The Nkosi's lost to Italy and others.
posted: 08:38 am
Simon my brother.....please think before you write anything...Nkosi has done nothing wrong Your mighty SAFA alway messes everything everytime....Nkosi is an asset to the countryand always gives 100% commitment when called todo so
posted: 09:25 am
My broer simon, a win against canada was good but it must not fool you, to disregard players like nkosi would be a mistake you would'nt want to make. we still have a long way to go.
posted: 09:37 am
Simon my broer u sound exactly like SAFA top dogs they discard player when they are winning but when they loose games they want the players back a win against Little Canada National team doesnt prove a thing man
posted: 10:48 am
I'm so sorry but to agree with Simon that we must leave Nkosi out the National squad,there are the likes of Tso Vilakazi & the Van Heerden of this world that can do better than Nkosi.
posted: 01:41 pm
When two elephants fight its the grass that suffers. Simon & Mnce you should learn to identify the problem. The problem is SAFA not players nor teams even though Pirates was wrong with Teko and Chenene. SAFA didn't consult with Midderndorp and we all know that Nkosi was injured during Italy game and He has never played competitive football eversince, i wonder how he was selected from the first place. I agree with Vilakazi that the Bafana Bafana selection criteria is questionable. And guys don't get carried away with Canada wins, the journey just began...we hope for the best (One love).
posted: 03:45 pm
Share the same sentiments, We have lots of talent in the country, who have pace and skill than our slow motion nkosi
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