Following reports that Phakamani Mahlambi has been released from Bafana Bafana’s COSAFA Cup squad because he arrived in “poor condition”, the SA Football Association has confirmed his withdrawal, though stating a different reason.
It was yesterday that news broke that the Mamelodi Sundowns attacker had been booted out of the national team for allegedly being under the influence of alcohol, but SAFA acting CEO Russell Paul gave a different version.
“As matters stand, the player requested to be released from the COSAFA camp due to personal reasons that he needed to deal with – and we agreed to release him,” Paul told the Siya crew.
Mahlambi has since been replaced by Cape Town City’s Gift Link and his late withdrawal from the COSAFA squad is likely to hurt his slim chances of making Bafana’s final AFCON team for the tournament in Egypt next month.
Although he scored Downs’ Absa Premiership winning goal against Free State Stars earlier this month, Mahlambi has struggled to adjust to life back in the PSL and was in and out of the team during the course of the 2018/19 season.