benni spills beans
South Africa's most wayward striker Benni McCarthy has secured a meeting with new Bafana Bafana coach, Joel "Guitar Man" Santana, in Kempton Park, today.
The aim of the meeting is to discuss the "personal problems" that McCarthy cited for his failure to join Bafana Bafana in camp for their game against Nigeria.
"I can confirm that Benni will meet the coach at OR Tambo International Airport at 12.30pm," said Sipho Nkumane, the team's manager. "Benni arrived in Cape Town on Monday night. We spoke to him and he will fly to Johannesburg in the morning for a meeting with the coach.
"As the coach indicated at a media briefing on Monday, the plan is to sit down with all the players and sort out whatever problems are out there. Benni is one of the best players in the world. We are meeting him as a long-term plan to build a solid team for the 2010 World Cup.
"We want to make sure that we have all the best players to make the country proud by doing well during the tournament.
"From now we can't say anything further until the coach and Benni have met, hopefully there will be a joint statement after the meeting."
At Monday's media briefing Santana said he valued McCarthy as a great striker and wanted him in the team for the World Cup.
The Bafana Bafana technical team had an urgent meeting beforehand where it was decided to expel McCarthy from the team.
McCarthy was given a deadline of midnight on Monday to join the team or be withdrawn as the local federation was gatvol with his antics.
After the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations, McCarthy announced he was quitting Bafana Bafana only to be persuaded by former coach Carlos Alberto Parreira to change his mind last November.
Bafana Bafana travel to Abuja on Friday morning for their opening 2010 World Cup-Afcon qualifier against the Super Eagles on Sunday at 5pm (SA time).
For more on McCarthy see page 18.
l Reports from Nigeria are that the locals are planning demonstrations at the SA high commission and consulate in Abuja and Lagos this week.
The Nigerians will protest against the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals.
l Should Benni McCarthy still be in the Bafana Bafana squad? To vote: SMS 'Yes', 'No' or 'Who cares' to 32647. SMS charged at R1.