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Bobby's tirade angers Igesund

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BAFANA Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has hit back at Bobby Motaung, accusing the Kaizer Chiefs general manager of being disingenuous.This is after Motaung told Igesund to look elsewhere but not at Naturena for national team players for next month's Cosafa Cup.

The tournament kicks off in Zambia next week and Igesund, who announced his squad yesterday, can expect strong resistance from clubs keen to hang on to players who are already in pre-season camps.

But Igesund has not taken kindly to Motaung's remarks, explaining that a joint liaison committee agreed in a meeting on June 9 that the PSL would release players for the tournament.

"I don't know why Bobby Motaung is justifying his decision not to release players, making out like we are not clued up about what we are doing," said Igesund yesterday.

"When I phoned Bobby and said these are the players I'm calling up, he said 'I'm not releasing any players'. I said, 'OK, what about fringe players?' He said, 'No players - my players are tired'.

"I said, 'Bobby, your players aren't tired. You've only played 37 games - some teams have played 42. In Europe, they can play 60. But that's your choice. I'm not fighting with you. But please send it in writing'," Igesund said.

He added: "The tournament does not fall under the Fifa calendar. I understand that. But he can't go on saying players are not horses. He can withdraw the players he wants to. I don't want to get into a bun-fight with Bobby here.

"Any team can write and indicate if they can't release players.

"Stuart Baxter [Kaizer Chiefs coach] phoned me and I explained the situation to him.

"Stuart said the players weren't tired and the only reason Chiefs were not releasing them was because he'll need to work with them on some tactical aspects in pre-season. That part I could understand as a coach myself. But Baxter told me, 'Don't act too hastily. Name the squad. If I withdraw them, I'll withdraw them'."

Motaung, however, has also fired back: "We are making it loud and clear that we won't be releasing our players. Gordon Igesund is aware because we had a meeting with him. If it means taking legal steps, we will go that route. Remember, the tournament does not fall under the Fifa calendar.

"Why did they not go for overseas-based players? They knew very well the answer would be a big no. If we do not start grooming new players, we are going to have a big problem, for it does not make sense to have players with more than 60 caps like Shabba [Siphiwe Tshabalala], Itu [Itumeleng Khune] and many others going to the Cosafa Cup."

l BAFANA SQUAD

GOALKEEPERS - Wayne Sandilands, Ronwen Williams

DEFENDERS - Bevan Fransman, Thabo Nthethe (captain), Tefu Mashamaite, Mulomowandau Mathoho, Thulani Hlatshwayo, Tebogo Langerman, Gumede

MIDFIELDERS - Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Tshabalala, Hlompho Kekana, Shongwe, Manyama, Nomandela, Gamildien

FORWARDS - Katlego Mashego, Kermit Erasmus, Bernard Parker and Thabani Mthembu.

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