Bafana coach Stuart Baxter explains Andile Jali suspension confusion for Senegal clash
Posted: 11 November 2017 Time: 12:00
Bafana Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has explained the confusion surrounding Andile Jali’s availability for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Senegal on Friday.
Leading up to the match, SAFA were convinced that Jali was suspended for the match because of a yellow card he picked up in the 3-1 victory over Burkina Faso at FNB Stadium last month.
Baxter had only planned to use the former Orlando Pirates midfielder in the upcoming clash against the Lions of Teranga in Dakar on Tuesday.
However, on the day of the match against Senegal, SAFA found out that Jali was in fact available to play and so he was named as a substitute. He came on in the second half for Lebogang Manyama in the 2-0 defeat to the West Africans, and coach Baxter explained the confusion surrounding his suspension.
“What I will say is that immediately it was bandied around that Andile was suspended we then got some sort of correspondence from FIFA and the referee’s report was wrong. We acted on that initially until Andile himself flagged it up and we started digging around,” said Baxter.
“I said to them I have not prepared with Andile because in my mind he was suspended, so I can’t throw him into the team because that would be amateurish, but I do want him on the bench. I am not going to penalise the player because other people are having problems in their correspondence and they are making down right mistakes. In one official report, I saw that Andile had scored the first goal against Burkina Faso and didn’t get a yellow card.
"So it was very ambiguous to a point where we were nervous about selecting him. We only made the decision to include him today.”