Troubled Rantie facing sanction after walking out on Turkish club

09 January 2018 - 16:42 By Nick Said
South Africa's Tokelo Rantie, centre, is taken on by Cape Verde's Tiago Almeida, left, and Ryan Mendes during the teams' 2018 World Cup qualifying match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
South Africa's Tokelo Rantie, centre, is taken on by Cape Verde's Tiago Almeida, left, and Ryan Mendes during the teams' 2018 World Cup qualifying match at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
Image: AFP/Anesh Debiky

Troubled striker Tokelo Rantie is facing a heavy sanction after walking out on Turkish club Genclerbirligi‚ who are set to take his case to FIFA in the coming weeks.

Rantie told the side almost three months ago that he was returning to South Africa to be with his sick grandmother and has not been back to Turkey since‚ infuriating his club.

They are now set to chase him for a portion of his signing-on fee and other damages after what they consider a clear case of breach of contract.

Reports in the Turkish and Swedish media say he has been offered to both IFK Goteborg and Djurgardens in the Scandinavian country and will be allowed to leave for free.

The 27-year-old enjoyed the most success in his career while at Swedish side Malmo‚ and he is known to want to return there. The club have ruled it out in the past though for financial reasons.

It is yet another saga in what has been a troubled career that has not quite lived up to its enormous promise.

Rantie was a record signing for English side Bournemouth when he joined them at the start of the 2013/14 season‚ but managed just five goals in three seasons at the club.

He was signed by Genclerbirligi in June 2016 and his performances improved‚ even if goals were still hard to come by.

His pace and work-rate made him a valuable asset to the team.

Rantie is arguably South Africa’s top forward‚ but has also had troubles with the national team‚ first falling out with former coach Shakes Mashaba and then refusing a call-up for the must-win World Cup qualifiers against Senegal.

Baxter at the time suggested there was trouble brewing for Rantie in Turkey.

“The last time I was sat here and named a squad I gave the reasons why Tokelo was not in the squad‚” Baxter said at the time.

“That was that he’d just come off a three-game suspension [for his club]‚ his coach was playing him as a winger‚ and I wasn’t 100 percent satisfied with his performance against Cape Verde.

“Given those reasons‚ I had a conversation with Tokelo where he wasn’t that happy with that.

“He was explaining some of the problems he's had [in Turkey]‚ and how he’s not feeling too good and he wants some space to think about both his international career and his career in Turkey‚ and if he should try and get back into Bafana or move on.”

Rantie was also part of the Orlando Pirates side that won the 2011/12 Premier Soccer League title‚ and played in the final as Pirates defeated BidVest Wits 3-1 to win the Telkom Knockout that campaign.


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