Bafana Bafana coach Shakes Mashaba has insisted he couldn’t bend his own rules for Thulani Serero and that's why he had to exclude him for his African Cup of Nations squad.
Serero’s exclusion was reportedly due to the fact that he didn’t report to the Bafana pre-AFCON camp, where he was only expected to arrive on 02 January, whilst already being seen in the country days before his expected arrival date.
Mashaba has now told the Siya crew that, while ‘Cream’ was an important player during the qualification campaign, he had to treat Serero like any other player in his squad.
“I mean he (Serero) played two games for us in qualifying and even scored a goal,” he told Soccer Laduma in an exclusive interview.
“If he played well for us is there any way I wouldn’t want him in the team? There must be something wrong with me, if so!
“My worry is that we’re dealing with a group of players. If I’m going to bend rules on one, the other one who doesn’t have the rules bent will bend the rules himself.
“There will be a misunderstanding in the camp and a bad feeling in which some say they get harsh treatment and others get less.”
However, despite his omission from Mashaba's AFCON squad Serero will be considered for future selections, as revealed by SAFA president Danny Jordaan on Friday.