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Kamohelo Mokotjo’s eligibility for Bafana remains up in the air

By Mninawa Ntloko | 2017-03-20 16:50:59.0

HOLLAND-based midfielder Kamohelo Mokotjo has joined the Bafana Bafana camp in Durban despite persisting uncertainty over his eligibility to play for the national team.

Mokotjo obtained Dutch citizenship in December last year and even though interim Bafana coach Owen da Gama named the FC Twente midfielder in the squad to face Guinea-Bissau in Durban on Saturday and Angola in East London next Tuesday‚ there are still questions over whether he can turn out for his country of birth or not.

Bafana team manager Barney Kujane confirmed on Monday that Mokotjo is indeed in camp but whether he can take to the field at Moses Mabhida Stadium on Saturday remains in the air.

“We want to inform you that Kamohelo Mokotjo is in camp here (in Durban) and he is among the players that reported for camp (on Sunday)‚” Kujane said.

‘‘By the way you all know that we have an issue whereby Kamohelo Mokotjo has obtained Dutch citizenship.

‘‘We have invited him to camp and his matter of citizenship and regarding playing for Bafana Bafana is being handled by the (South African Football Association) and the South African government.

‘‘And immediately this matter has come to a logical conclusion we will inform the members of the media.”

Safa officials could not say on Monday if Mokotjo would be allowed to remain in camp if it turns that the player cannot play for Bafana.

Mokotjo had a massive fall out with sacked Bafana coach Ephraim ‘‘Shakes” Mashaba that culminated with the player quitting the national team via social media last year.

The player has been playing in the Netherlands for almost a decade and he obtained citizenship last year.

There has been no reasonable explanation as to why Da Gama selected the player without first ascertaining whether he can play for Bafana or not.

Kujane said Mokotjo desperately wants to play for his country of birth and it is because of this very reason that he is Durban with his Bafana team mates.

“Just to assure you also‚ the reason why the association has called Kamohelo to this camp is because he himself has indicated that he wants to play for his country‚ and we recognise that‚” Kujane said.

‘‘So really as to the other logistics‚ we will attend to them later on.”

Da Gama said all the players are in camp except for France-based Keagan Dolly‚ who is expected to arrive in Durban on Tuesday.

Da Gama added that while he is yet to make a final decision on who will captain Bafana in the two international matches‚ he already has his eyes on a suitable replacement. — TMG Digital