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Mcebo Dlamini appears in court. Picture Credit: Julia Madibogo
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Bafana flag Morris' club offside

By unknown | Dec 24, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Bafana Bafana yesterday refused to budge following a request from Panathanaikos to allow Nasief Morris join them later for the Africa Cup of Nations preparations.

South Africa will assemble in Durban on January 5 where they will also play two games against Mozambique (January 13) and Botswana (January 16).

"We received a letter from Greece [Panathanaikos, asking us] to allow Nasief to remain in Greece until after their January 13 [match]," said Sipho Nkumane, Bafana Bafana manager.

"Panathanaikos argued that they have a derby match on that day but we explained that we have an equally crucial game against Mozambique on January 13.

"We need all the players here for the training camp because the Africa Cup of Nations is an important tournament."

Bafana Bafana's refusal comes after Steven Pienaar indicated that he will ask Safa to allow him join the team late in Tamale, Ghana.

Pienaar said he will send a letter this week to Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, asking if he can join them ahead of the first match against Angola on January 23.

"I can't comment at this stage, we have not heard from Steven or his club.

"Let us wait for the letter," said Nkumane.

He added: "We expect all the players in Durban when we assemble.

"In fact, some of them have made arrangements because they are already in the country.

"After sending the call-up letters, we have sent the flight confirmation details of all the players.

'We have also sent a list of the selected players to Fifa and CAF.

"That will enable Fifa to act in case of any of the European clubs refusing to release the players," said Nkumane.

He confirmed that Bafana Bafana will stay at the Bikiza Hotel.

Pienaar is enjoying an impressive season at English Premiership side Everton following his loan move from Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

"Schillo" fears the month-long tournament in Ghana could cost him the chance to cement a permanent transfer to Everton.

The tournament in Ghana starts on January 20 but teams are entitled to call up their players for training camps ahead of the kickoff.

"Yes, it's a problem. Things are going so well here and you think, 'why's it coming up now?' Pienaar told the Daily Telegraph.

"Going away for a few weeks makes it a difficult situation.

"I can't do anything about it, though. We are going to write a letter to see if I can meet up a bit later.

"But it's up to the coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira. I hope he says yes."

Pienaar is playing with a smile on his face again after a miserable time in Germany. - additional reporting by AFP


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