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benni's axing stuns chippa

By Linda Moreotsene | Jun 02, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

BENNI McCarthy's international career, which exploded into prominence in Burkina Faso 13 years ago, seems to have come to an uneventful end.

Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira excluded the country's all-time leading goalscorer from his final 23-man World Cup squad.

Goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez, defenders Bryce Moon and Innocent Mdledle and winger Franklin Cale were also sacrificed to comply with Fifa rules for the tournament.

In a country known for its opinionated football supporters, McCarthy's axing in particular will elicit views as many as they are varied.

Former Bafana great Philemon "Chippa" Masinga sounded positively distraught at Parreira's decision to drop the West Ham forward.

"I don't agree with how Benni was called and then humiliated like that," Masinga said.

"This is our boy and we love him and he has been a true ambassador of the country. He didn't deserve this kind of treatment.

"He was given only 15 minutes against Bulgaria and then dropped.

"His history speaks for itself. Had Benni played against Thailand or Guatemala, I have no doubt he would have scored three, four goals," Masinga argued yesterday.

He also expressed disappointment at the absence of Spain-based Nasief Morris.

"Apparently it was about discipline. I would like to say this is a coach who has worked successfully with the likes of (former Brazil striker) Romario," he said.

"In terms of football, ours is still growing. For us not to have Morris - a player who marks the likes of David Villa week in, week out in the tough Spanish league - boggles the mind. We simply cannot afford that.

"These two have graduated in the hard school of international football."

Still, Masinga made it clear he was 100percent behind the players who did make it into the team.


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