Thabo Matlaba excused from Bafana duty to play Gambia
Posted: 31 May 2016 Time: 16:25
Bafana Bafana will leave for Gambia this evening via Senegal minus Thabo Matlaba who has been excused from camp due to family matters that need his attention.
The senior national team will stop over in Dakar and then proceed to Gambia where they face off with the hosts in a 2017 African Nations Cup qualifier that is now just as good as a dead rubber as Bafana Bafana need truckloads of luck and favourable results from elsewhere to resurrect a qualifying campaign that is already in the coffin.
That trip to West Africa for Bafana’s penultimate Group M match on Saturday will have to be done minus the influence of Matlaba while there remains injury concerns on Mpho Makola and Rivaldo Coetzee.
“Thabo has some family matters to attend to so we have decided to excuse him and we will see him when we come back. We would have loved to have a replacement for him but the problem is that it takes another two weeks to get a visa,” reveals Shakes Mashaba.
“Our manager is not even here today because he is still in Pretoria trying to get one or two visas for some few players but the boys will have to play for him and make sure they come back with a result.”
Bafana trained at the UJ Soweto Campus this morning with Mandla Masango sitting out part of the session for recovery purposes after arriving from his base in Denmark.
Makola and Coetzee both trained but team doctor Thulani Ngwenya indicated that they are on treatment and being monitored.
“The first one is Mpho Makola who came with an injury, a right thigh contusion which is sometimes called a dead leg in the layman’s terms. We have been treating him and as you saw he trained today and has been responding very well to treatment, we have seen that he hasn’t been struggling. But we saw that he went down and it was because of an ankle and not the thigh. So he is doing quite well,” explains Ngwenya.
“The second one is Rivaldo Coetzee. He had an injury of the right jaw and he is on treatment and we are monitoring him. Otherwise with Mandla [Masango] he trained half the session because he was travelling for more than 24 hours so we wanted him to have half a session so that he can rest in trying to deal with fatigue and jetlag.”