SAFA threaten Wits over Mahlambi

Mahlambi has been called up to the Amajita squad for the upcoming eight-nations showpiece in Zambia, although the Clever Boys have reportedly refused to release the player because the tournament “does not fall under the FIFA calendar”.

READ: Wits withhold Mahlambi from Amajita

However, Mumble has since debunked the excuse, insisting that national team service will always take precedence over club commitments, and threatened swift action against the Premiership title chasers.

“We have included [Mahlambi] in the [Under-20 squad] and we expect the club [Wits] is going to release that player,” said Mumble.

“We have already notified the club that we will take action against them, should they not release the player.

"The bottom line is that the national team takes priority over club commitments, and we are not going to budge on that."

READ: SAFA poised to name new Bafana coach

Mumble further explained that clubs tend to misinterpret the rules surrounding FIFA dates, and clarified that it only serves as provision for the senior men’s FIFA World Cup, while junior national team responsibilities are governed by the association.

“This is the thing that a lot of clubs tend to fall back on, this FIFA calendar. SAFA is the one that proposed this international football calendar,” stated Mumble.

“If you recall back in ’98, ’99, we made that proposal to FIFA, so we know what the purpose behind that calendar is. It is for FIFA to protect its senior World Cup, therefore it only sets aside seven days out of the year.

“But we have nine national teams that don’t play, and FIFA, CAF or COSAFA don’t schedule matches on these FIFA dates for junior teams, and junior competitions don’t fall in what you call FIFA dates.

“So this thing of falling back on FIFA dates, FIFA has left it up to the individual federations to regulate its own releases for junior national teams.

"As SAFA we have worked very well with the league [PSL]. I must tell you now, there is no other club in the league that has resisted.

“So whichever club is responsible for holding players back now we are going act on it, and believe me we are acting on it as we speak."

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