Benni dropped for Confed Cup

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Joel Santana, Bafana Bafana coach, has finally bowed to pressure by ignoring the team's all-time top goalscorer, Benni McCarthy, for the Confederations Cup.

At a media briefing in Sandton yesterday, Santana also announced a recall for experienced campaigners Brian Baloyi, Benson Mhlongo and Thembinkosi Fanteni.

A glaring omission was Absa Premiership top goalscorer Richard Henyekane, a puzzling decision if you consider that Santana said they could not find good strikers.

Asked about the repeated snubbing of Henyekane, Santana said: "We do not talk about players not in the squad, we can only comment about the 30 we announced."

This will be Bafana Bafana's second appearance in the Confederations Cup, the first being in 1997 where a dismal performance led to the sacking of then coach Clive Barker. This year's edition could decide Santana's future.

"The criteria for selection is on technical ability, physical fitness, medical condition and discipline," said the unconvincing Santana.

But he saw it fit to include the likes of SuperSport United's Lance Davids and Matthew Booth of Mamelodi Sundowns, who are not regulars at their club.

Bafana Bafana will play a warm-up match against Mauritius at Johannesburg Stadium on May 30.

The final squad of 23 players will be named before Fifa's deadline of June 4.

The selected players will face Poland in a friendly at Orlando Stadium on June 6.