Gambling on McCarthy

Sipho Mthembu

Sipho Mthembu

Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira took the bold step of including Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy in his 19-member squad even before meeting the player.

But from the confidence surrounding yesterday's announcement one could deduce that the Brazilian has been assured by those close to McCarthy's agent, Rob Moore, that the second-highest scorer in England will be available for the June 2 fixture.

Moore is known for driving a hard bargain before grinding out the best concessions for his players and Parreira might soon be on the receiving end.

"There are processes that must take place before Benni rejoins Bafana Bafana following the last bust-up, which I don't want to get involved in," Parreira said.

Sbu Mngadi, chief executive of SA Football Ltd, said there has been interaction between Safa and McCarthy's management.

"We don't want to get into the details of that," Mngadi said.

McCarthy told a radio station he would only return to the team if Safa vice president Mubarak Mahomed would publicly apologise to him. Sheer stage management, if you ask me.

The full squad is: Goalkeepers - Rowen Fernandez, Calvin Marlin. Defenders - Aaron Mokoena, Nasief Morris, Ricardo Katza, Cyril Nzama, Benson Mhlongo, Vuyo Mere, Bradley Carnell.

Midfielders - Delron Buckley, Elrio van Heerden, MacBeth Sibaya, Godfrey Sapula, Surprise Moriri, Benedict Vilakazi.

Strikers - Siyabonga Nomvethe, Thembinkosi Fanteni, Sibusiso Zuma and McCarthy.