Following Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund’s decision to release the six Orlando Pirates players from his squad for the Nigerian outing, in the Nelson Mandela Challenge, Bucs Administrative Manager Floyd Mbele admitted that it was a difficult situation for both club and country.
The six player are goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, defender Thabo Matlaba, and midfielders Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa, Thandani Ntshumayelo and Daine Klate.
Mbele said that they would have loved their players to honour Nelson Mandela by playing on the day, although it is difficult for the team considering their CAF Champions League involvement.
“We know it is on a FIFA day and the national team has the right to have the players. We would have loved them to be there and play to honour Tata but it was a win-win situation and the email we sent to SAFA was a request to release the players for another national duty, in the CAF Champions League just three days later.
“We are happy both parties understood each other and a way forward was reached. It is good for our football. Under any circumstances there couldn't even have been a problem or a matter to discuss, but we all know how it is at this point in time.
“Both parties needed players and we had to reach a common group which both parties are happy with and this is how it is,” Mbele explained.
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