'Dutch citizenship for my club career'


Mokotjo was the subject of a media frenzy last week as SAFA and government officials ran from pillar to post in order to make him re-eligible for Bafana's friendly matches against Guinea-Bissau and Angola.

READ: SAFA in the dark over Mokotjo status

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The 26-year-old FC Twente star, amid uncertainty over his Bafana future last year, renounced his South African citizenship in favour of a Dutch passport, much to the disgrace of South African football supporters.

The SuperSport United youth graduate, though, has since given his reasoning behind the near-fateful decision and shared the possible benefits that could come thereof.

"Basically, I am a European and I can move to any club I want," he explained to SAFA. "I can now move to England, where I feel like the league suits me.

"But it's not up to me, I need to put in the work and clubs need to approach me, but it gives me more options. There's another factor: I have lived there my entire adult life so its what I am used to, but South Africa is home."

Having responded to his call-up from interim coach Owen da Gama, the path to his international return was not clearcut,as he had to submit a written request to to Minister of Home Affairs to reinstate his South African citizenship as a matter of urgency, so that he could prove his worth to nation in the back-to-back friendlies.

READ: Mokotjo regains SA citizenship

Mokotjo put in quite a decent shift during his 60-odd minutes on the park, with many getting to see his intricate movement and precise passing ability, as Bafana went on to beat Guinea-Bissau 3-1 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

"I trusted in the authorities – which is SAFA and the government – who said they will sort out my situation because I have always wanted play for my country, and I will not change," he added.

"I was born here, my family is here, this is home but I ply my trade in the Netherlands where I believe I have become a better player. Compliments to SAFA for sorting out the issue and giving me this opportunity once again, I will grab it with both arms."

His decision to "temporarily" retire from Bafana almost exactly a year ago also sparked controversy in South Africa, as many fans believed the combative midfielder did so out of his intense dislike of then-coach Shakes Mashaba, but Mokotjo has rejected any such claims.

"There was never a problem [with Mashaba], he made his choices and as a player you have to respect those choices. You then go back to your team, keep performing and hope you get a chance in the national team.

"But it’s all in the past now, I am back in the national and that’s all that matters now, more so because the future looks bright for this team," he said.

READ: Mokotjo backs 'best-ever' Bafana squad