Bafana Bafana

Ntseki: 'People don't know my relationship with Middendorp'

2019-11-13 08:24
Molefi Ntseki
Molefi Ntseki (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki cleared the air on whether his relationship has gone sour with Kaizer Chiefs coach Ernst Middendorp.

Last month, the Amakgosi mentor was left frustrated when defender Erick Mathoho returned to Naturena with a niggling injury after he played part in South Africa's win over Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge.

The German coach attempted to get hold of Ntseki to find out the full details as there was confusion surrounding the Mathoho's medical reports.

Ntseki revealed that there was a misunderstanding and Middendorp recently called the coach to wish Bafana Bafana the "best of luck" in Ghana.

"I think people don't know my relationship with coach Ernst Middendorp - we worked together at (Bloemfontein) Celtic; we produced players together there," explained Ntseki.

"We've got a very good relationship and I think there was just a misunderstanding between his medical team, in terms of the report that was sent to our medical team.

"(The report) said Mathoho is ready; we rested him for two sessions when we were training here in Jo'burg, and then he joined the team and did very well.

"Again, when you talk of Mathoho, he's been around for some time and he can't play with an injury – not for Chiefs; not for the national team. So, he got a clean bill of health from our medical team and that is why we played him for 90 minutes.

"That is why I'm saying there was just a misunderstanding. We actually spoke about it when it came to Manyama, even before the (Soweto Derby) they had challenges and I was made aware of that. After the game, we also spoke about it and I said, now Lebo is in the team.

"He is very happy. I got a call from him (on Sunday) to wish the team all the best of luck. So, coach Middendorp and I, and the national team, we are on good terms."

South Africa take on Ghana in an epic 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier when the two sides clash on Thursday evening.

Kick-off is at 21:00 (SA time).

- Compiled by Tashreeq Vardien


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