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Baxter gets tough with clubs 13/08/04
South Africa national coach Stuart Baxter revealed clubs have left him no choice concerning the release of players for national duty.

Baxter revealed that he would enforce the FIFA ruling to suspend the players.

The Englishman is furious after being told that Russian side Rubin Kazan were reluctant to release midfielder Macbeth Sibaya for next Wednesday's friendly international against Tunisia.

"I spoke to Sibaya last night and he said the club were reluctant to release him," Baxter was quoted by News24.com.

"However, I told him that he must stand up to his club and demand his rights.The match is played on an official FIFA sanctioned weekend and, in terms of FIFA rules, clubs must have an obligation to release players called up by their national association.

"If Sibaya is not released I will have no choice but to force FIFA to suspend the player for the duration of our camp," said Baxter.

The Englishman also revealed that Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had requested that Quinton Fortune be withdrawn from the squad, but he told the Scot that the midfielder would play one half only.

"I had a chat with Sir Alex and told him that I could not pull Fortune out. I explained that I would use him for 45 minutes only and that I would ensure he is returned to United fit," said Baxter.

Meanwhile, Benson Mhlongo has been recalled into the squad as a replacement for the injury Japhet Zwane.

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