South African football association has given the Orlando Pirates players a rest ahead of the Bafana Bafana’s friendly matches against Costa Rica and Honduras. The trio is Thamsanqa Gabuza, Thabo Matlaba and Mpho Makola, who were part of the team that won 4-3 against Al Ahly of Egypt last sunday.
SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble confirmed that the trio will not join Bafana Bafana due to their exhausting schedule in the CAF confederations cup but also stated that a decision was made by the country’s football governing and the head coach Shakes Mashaba.
“The decision we had to take was at the interest of those three players,” said Mumble.
“We expected them to be back from Egypt on Monday and as the rest of the country knew that they had to connect flights in Dubai and were also delayed there.
“And it took longer than expected to be back in South Africa, so I discussed the decision to withdraw them with the coach [Mashaba] first and he agreed.
“And first and foremost, Pirates released the players and the players went to the airport. But their condition was not conducive for them to travel another 29 hours to Costa Rica after coming from a long trip from Egypt.
“They were still going to travel around eight hours to Brazil, then another three hours to Panama before landing in Costa Rica. So it is best that they take a rest they deserve at the moment.”
This means that the trio will be available for the Buccaneers Telkom Knock-out last 16 clash against the University of Pretoria on Friday.
Bafana will face Costa Rica at the San Jose’s National Stadium on Friday, October 9.