Ngcobo snubs Bafana

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Bafana Bafana management last night urged Free State Stars to come clean on the mysterious withdrawal of their chief striker, Sthembiso Ngcobo from the national side.

Ngcobo has surprised all and sundry by stating he was not confident enough to play for Bafana Bafana, especially three months before the Confederations Cup. He feels he is not yet on top of his game.

In a statement issued by Stars late yesterday the club said they were informed about the call-up.

Ngcobo is also said to have claimed that his fitness level was not up to scratch, adding that he did not "want to add numbers to the squad but to add value". He listed a recurring knee injury among his fitness problems.

This was the second successive Bafana Bafana call-up that Ngcobo chose to snub after claiming he was injured during their game against Zambia three weeks ago.

Sipho Nkumane, Bafana Bafana's manager said: "It is strange that Stars are now complaining about getting the player's call-up late.

"Maceba Mthimkulu [Stars' administrator] phoned me on Monday morning saying Sthembiso was going to the Absa Premiership awards ceremony.

"He was arranging with me to pick up the player at the PSL offices. If there was a problem with the call-up being late, Stars should have raised it at that stage.

"I spent the whole day talking to Mthimkulu, we were all searching for the player. We are now leaving it up to the club to deal with the issue.

"They must be honest, otherwise we will report the matter to Fifa, which will result in the player not featuring for them this weekend."

Part of Stars' statement read: "Sthembiso Ngcobo's invitation to represent Bafana Bafana was faxed to our offices after working hours on Friday, 6 February 2009, time 8.52pm.

"The player had travelled with the team to Port Elizabeth to play against Bay United."