Safa withdraws Mahlambi from Amajita squad for FIFA U20 World Cup

17 May 2017 - 16:45 By Marc Strydom

Bidvest Wits’ forward star Phakamani Mahlambi has been withdrawn from the Amajita squad for the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in South Korea with a hamstring injury.

Mahlambi has been replaced by Ajax Cape Town defender Sirgio Kammies‚ the South African Football Association (Safa) stated in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The withdrawal of arguably the brightest U-20 talent available to South Africa comes as a big blow to Amajita coach Thabo Senong and his squad.

  • Mahlambi learning to make a differenceWith every game there is more evidence that coach Gavin Hunt is up to something with his enterprising midfielder Phakamani Mahlambi. 

Mahlambi also missed the Rio Olympics in August last year with SA’s U-23 team due to a debilitating and almost career-ending knee ligament injury.

Safa said Mahlambi sustained his injury “while training with his club”.

“As per the FIFA rules for the tournament‚ no player can be replaced in the squad without proof of an injury‚” Safa’s statement read.

Mahlambi had been the figure of a tug-of-war battle between Absa Premiership title-chasing Wits and Safa‚ who called the club to a disciplinary hearing for not releasing the player in time for the South African U-20s’ departure for the World Cup last week.

  • Mahlambi‚ Singh‚ Tau and Manyama to start for Bafana in East LondonSouth African Under-20 internationals Phakamani Mahlambi and Luther Singh will both start in Bafana Bafana's friendly against Angola in Eat London on Tuesday night. 

Amajita open their tournament against Japan in Suwon‚ South Korea on Sunday.

Bafana Bafana and SA U-20 team doctor Thulani Ngwenya revealed in the statement that Mahlambi’s injury had been inspected and found to be “very significant”.

“Judging from the evidence revealed by the Ultrasound film that has been sent by Mahlambi’s club and has been forwarded to the FIFA Medical office‚ the player’s injury is very significant and unfortunately can’t be managed before any of our World Cup games‚” Ngwenya said.

“Surgery would be a better option to enhance recovery however‚ he will still not be ready for this World Cup Tournament and it is for this reason that he has been withdrawn.”

  • Mahlambi says he and Singh can learn lessons with Bafana for U-20 FIFA World CupPhakamani Mahlambi believes he and Luther Singh can convey their experiences gained being part of the Bafana Bafana squad to their Amajita teammates ahead of the U-20 World Cup‚ especially if they get a run in Tuesday night’s game against Angola. 

Amajita are also waiting on Wits right-back Reeve Frosler and SuperSport United central midfielder Teboho Mokoena to report in South Korea‚ who have also been at the centre of disputes between their clubs and Safa.

SA coach Senong said: “It is very unfortunate that Phakamani can’t be with us‚ but we have to forge ahead.

“This has also given us a chance to re-evaluate our squad‚ so we decided to call up Sirgio Kammies so as to add numbers to our defence because we feel that we have enough strength in attack.

  • Mahlambi says he and Singh can learn lessons with Bafana for U-20 FIFA World CupPhakamani Mahlambi believes he and Luther Singh can convey their experiences gained being part of the Bafana Bafana squad to their Amajita teammates ahead of the U-20 World Cup‚ especially if they get a run in Tuesday night’s game against Angola. 

“Kammies was part of the team’s preparations prior to the U20 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Zambia (in March) as well as the World Cup‚ so he knows the team and how we operate.”

South Africa’s group at the World Cup also includes Italy and Uruguay.

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport

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