Baxter Explains Masalesa Withdrawal, Confirms New Bafana Captain
Stuart Baxter Explains Lehlogonolo Masalesa Withdrawal, Confirms New Bafana Bafana Captain
Head Coach Stuart Baxter has revealed why Lehlogonolo Masalesa was withdrawn from the Chan squad while confirming who will take over the captain’s armband.
The Bafana Bafana mentor announced his official squad for the country’s upcoming Chan qualifiers against Botswana this weekend, July 16, while it was noted that Masalesa, who is a free agent, could be a doubt due to FIFA rules.
The Englishman since confirmed why the player had to be released from the squad and subsequently replaced by Mamelodi Sundowns’ Sibusiso Khumalo.
“FIFA rules say that an unregistered player can play in an official tournament, but, when we were sitting in there and I said that we want it confirmed, I guessed that CAF could have some particular rule in themselves, which they did because Chan has got to be about local players and therefore Viera had to have a local registration, which he obviously doesn’t have,” Baxter revealed to the media.
“If we had known that earlier, we could have made some sort of plan to get some sort of temporary loan at a little club somewhere, but, now we have no time so it is a blow because we had him in the starting line-up and we will have to change the shape and the way we play.”
“I was up late last night talking to the coaches, Pitso is helping us out, Pitso is going to let us take Sibusiso Khumalo,” he added.
Baxter then confirmed that the captaincy will be handed down to Mario Booysen.
“I think if you have watched the training I think Mario has been the one apart from Viera that has taken a bit of responsibility on to his shoulders and tried to talk and help the other boys and he has got a bit more experience and he is a centre back. I like defenders to be captain, I don’t like wingers and forwards because they are usually a little bit more concentrated on their own role. Mario will take the job,” Baxter confirmed.