doubt over benni

BENNI McCarthy's business manager Rob Moore has refused to be drawn into commenting on the future of Bafana Bafana's long-time leading goalscorer at English Premiership club West Ham.

BENNI McCarthy's business manager Rob Moore has refused to be drawn into commenting on the future of Bafana Bafana's long-time leading goalscorer at English Premiership club West Ham.

"I don't see why I should discuss Benni's future at West Ham because he is still contracted to the club," said Moore from Spain last night. The revered player's business manager was responding to Sowetan's inquiry about a reported ultimatum the Hammers had given McCarthy to "shape up or ship out".

West Ham have expressed their unhappiness about McCarthy's weight problem and have told him to work on it and return to Upton Park in good shape.

McCarthy will need to work out to shed weight considering that he will be kicking his heels during the World Cup after he was left out of the final squad by coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

McCarthy was recruited by West Ham in January but the irascible forward failed to make the starting line-up.

Moore said: "I will speak to Benni next week to discuss his future at international level. I have already spoken to him about his exclusion from Bafana and he is understandably disappointed. But every country taking part in the World Cup had surprise exclusions. Benni is fully behind Bafana Bafana."

Moore also expressed his disenchantment at the omission of talented midfielder Elrio van Heerden.

"Elrio has international experience and was part of the Bafana 2008 Africa Cup of Nations squad under Parreira. He can play in key positions for the team - wide, in the middle of the park and behind the two strikers - and I thought this is a player the coach will need. It was his decision and we should respect it. But coaches should also be responsible for the decisions they take."

On Everton's Steven Pienaar, who is being courted by several top English clubs, Moore said the linkman still belonged at Goodison Park.

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