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Bafana Bafana players who test positive for banned substances will be given the boot as the squad assembles in Pretoria tomorrow

By unknown | Jan 04, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The South African Football Association (Safa) yesterday announced that they will not hesitate to withdraw any Bafana Bafana players testing positive for drugs.

Bafana Bafana assemble at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria tomorrow for medical tests ahead of their trip to Ghana for the Africa Cup of Nations.

This is done because players are tested at random at all major competitions with those nabbed immediately sent home by the organisers.

"As part of the medical tests, we will also be testing the selected players for prohibited substances," said Mandla "Shoes" Mazibuko, Bafana Bafana's head of delegation.

"We have decided to start the camp by thoroughly testing all the players to avoid embarrassing South Africa in Ghana.

"An announcement will be made with immediate effect if there is any player who tests positive, we are duty bound to inform South Africans.

"The team will then fly to Durban on Sunday where the final preparations will begin," said Mazibuko, who is confident that all the players will report for duty.

This comes in the wake of reports that the players were unhappy with the incentives offered to them by Safa for the tournament, starting on January 20.

"We sent out call-up letters to all the players and confirmations, not even a single player came back to say he was not happy with the incentives," said Mazibuko. 'The players are all excited and looking forward to the camp and also representing Bafana Bafana to the best of their ability.

"The issue of incentives for the Ghana tournament has not been raised, we are in contact with all the selected players on a regular basis.

"I had a meeting with the team manager (Sipho Nkumane) on Wednesday before he left for Ghana for logistics assessment ahead of the tournament.

"There was no way we would have allowed the team manager to leave when the house is on fire, we are satisfied with the report he presented.

"It is unfair for the media to start calling players all sorts of names, hence we call on all South Africans to rally behind Bafana Bafana.

"I have been Bafana Bafana head of delegation in 23 games, there is not even a single incident where there was a threat to boycott a game because of incentives offered."

Nkumane, who returns s from Ghana today, said: "We have made all the necessary transport arrangements for the players to join us in camp on Saturday.

"The players will be coming to the High Performance Centre for medical tests in Pretoria in dribs and drabs and we will shuttle them to the assembly place."

l Alberto Carlos Parreira, Bafana Bafana coach, is expected back in the country today from a month-long holiday in Brazil.


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