Parreira axes Khenyeza
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira wasted no time in stamping his authority on his new charges when he axed Mamelodi Sundowns striker Mabhuti Khenyeza from the squad to play Japan and Jamaica in upcoming friendly internationals.
Khenyeza was dropped after he failed to report to camp as scheduled on Sunday night.
Bafana media spokesman Mahlomola Morake explained that the decision to drop the wayward striker was taken by Parreira and his technical team after they met with Khenyeza and Sundowns official Trott Moloto on Monday afternoon.
"When Khenyeza did not pitch up for camp on Sunday we tried to phone him but he failed to answer his phone. We found out he was training with his club on Monday and when he arrived to speak to the coach he offered an excuse. But the coach (Parreira) was not impressed (with the excuse) and withdrew him from the squad," said Morake.
Parreira, who took charge of Bafana last week after a disastrous run by fellow Brazilian Joe Santana, warned the players in a wide-ranging media briefing on Friday that he will not tolerate any nonsense or disruptions by any player in the national squad.
Khenyeza told the media after his meeting with Parreira that he had an ankle injury but that did not seem to hold water with the Bafana technical team considering they were told he was training with his club.
"I cannot disclose what the player and technical staff discussed, only to say that Khenyeza is out but, while the coach is disappointed, he said the door has not been closed on him."
Golden Arrows striker Richard Henyekane has been called up to replace Khenyeza.
This is the second time Khenyeza has failed to honour a Bafana call-up.
He was dropped from the squad prior to the Confederations Cup in May when he also failed to arrive in camp for that tournament citing a personal family tragedy.
Santana then forgave Khenyeza but it appears that the striker is not interested in representing his country at the 2010 World Cup finals.
Bafana suffered another blow on Monday when another Sundowns star, right back Siboniso Gaxa, was forced to withdraw from the squad with an injury. He has been replaced by Ajax Cape Town's Lance Davids.
The majority of the Bafana squad including striker Benni McCarthy and captain Aaron Mokoena were present at their Johannesburg hotel on Monday.
The squad leaves for Port Elizabeth on Tuesday afternoon where they face Japan at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday and then play Jamaica in Bloemfontein next Tuesday night.