Ntseki addresses Middendorp issue


Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has sought to clear the air over earlier comments made in the media by Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp.

Middendorp last month expressed his discontent at Ntseki’s failure to get back to him regarding the status of Chiefs defender Erick Mathoho, who had been carrying a niggling injury into their Nelson Mandela Challenge camp in Port Elizabeth.

The German explained how he had tried to get hold of the Bafana mentor to enquire over the wellbeing of one of his key players, but his attempts proved futile.

“I think people don’t know my relationship with coach Ernst Middendorp – we worked together at [Bloemfontein] Celtic; we produced players together there,” explained Ntseki as he addressed the issue.

“We’ve got a very good relationship and I think there was just a misunderstanding between his medical team, in terms of the report that was sent to our medical team.

READ: Chiefs seven men down for FIFA break

“[The report] said Mathoho is ready; we rested him for two sessions when we were traininghere in Jo’burg, and then he joined the team and did very well.

“Again, when you talk of Mathoho, he’s been around for some time and he can’t play with an injury – not for Chiefs; not for the national team. So, he got a clean bill of health from our medical team and that is why we played him for 90 minutes.

“That is why I’m saying there was just a misunderstanding. We actually spoke about it when it came to Manyama, even before the [Soweto Derby] they had challenges and I was made aware of that. After the game, we also spoke about it and I said, now Lebo is in the team.

“He is very happy. I got a call from him [on Sunday] to wish the team all the best of luck. So, coach Middendorp and I, and the national team, we are on good terms.”

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