angry modise quits banyana

18 November 2008 - 02:00
By unknown

Linda Moreotsene

Linda Moreotsene

Portia Modise, arguably South Africa's most accomplished woman soccer player, has quit the national team in a fit of rage after she was 'snubbed' by the national coach.

Modise, who plays her club football in the Denmark Elite Division for Fortuna Hjorring FC, was left out of the team participating in the sixth African Women's Championship in Equatorial Guinea.

Coach August Makalakalane said at the time the reason for leaving the former African Player of the Year out was to give her a chance to win her place back, as she had been warming the bench at her club since April.

Modise, 25, who is back in the country until January 8, disputes this, saying she was not considered because the coach continues to hold a grudge against her.

"How could I not have been playing if I ended the season as my team's top goal scorer with 16 goals?

"There is no truth to this story, and I would like to say this: for as long as Makalakalane is the coach, I will not play for Banyana Banyana again," Modise said.

Modise believes Makalakalane has it in for her because of her outspoken nature.

"He has never actually come out and told me why he has a problem with me, but I've heard he thinks I'm arrogant and undermine him. In the past when I approached him, as captain, to suggest something for the team he has not been happy about it though," she said.

Sowetan checked Modise's information with the club, and Kasper Poulsen, who is in charge of the team's website, confirmed that the player had scored 15 league and one cup goal this season.

What appears to have embittered Modise the most is that the coach seems to have dropped her after one bad match.

"I played badly in the game against Netherlands, but does one bad game make me a bad player?

"Let us be honest, the country does not even have a professional league! I've got my bad days, but I can do better than some of those players he took to Guinea," she said.

"I have seen articles in the papers where he accuses me of having a bad attitude. I have done my part for the team and if they do not need me anymore, it is fine with me."

Modise said the relationship with Makalakalane cannot be fixed and she will only go back when he is no longer the coach.

Banyana coaching staff were unavailable for comment, and Safa's spokesman Morio Sanyane said he does not comment on technical matters.

Incidentally, Banyana Banyana won their opening group match against Tunisia at Malabo 2-1 on Sunday

The sensational Noko Matlou and Hlengiwe Ngwane scored Banyana's goals. They play their second fixture against Ghana today.

In the other Group A match Ghana and Nigeria drew 1-all.