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Let Fish Play - The Iron Duke 31/12/03
Mark Fish may yet play in the Africa Nations Cup if Safa can get national coach Shakes Mashaba to soften his stance on players linking up late with the 22-man squad.

Fish withdrew last week after his request to join the teams preparations a week late was refused by Mashaba.
"We need to understand what players like Mark Fish and Benni McCarthy are in, said Safa vice president Irvin Khoza on Wednesday. They have said that they want to play for Bafana Bafana but their clubs want them to play club games on 7 January before they can join the national team.

"I feel sorry for Mark Fish because he had retired from international football about three years ago and maybe now he feel sorry for that and now he wants to make up. So we can't just let him go."

Khoza also said that games national body want to make a compromise with Mashaba regarding Fish because he is the countrys most experience defender.

"If teams like Nigeria and Cameroon can make compromise with their overseas based players why not South Africa?" asked Khoza.

Nigeria will only have their captain Jay Jay Okocha join the team on 7 January after his club Bolton Wanderers play Manchester United on the same date.

And Cameroon have agreed to allow a host of their foreign based players to join them just two days before their first game.

"We need to give and take when the players are also giving and taking.

We need to be able to help the players when they want to play for the country not to be seen as chasing them away from Bafana Bafana." added Khoza.

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