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Mokoena : The Allegations Are Shocking 11/04/05
Bafana Bafana captain Aaron 'Mbazo' Mokoena has said that national team coach Stuart Baxter has the full backing of all the players, following the recent allegations levelled against him.

Baxter has been involved in controversy after he left Benni McCarthy out of the starting line-up against Uganda after the Porto player arrived late for the training camp earlier in the week of the game.

Team manager Screamer Tshabalala is said to have critisised this decision, as well as Baxter's preference at selecting overseas-based players, rather than those plying their trade in South Africa.

Certain media reports then suggested that Baxter was being influenced by a players' agent when making team selections.

But Baxter has received the full backing of his skipper, who issued the following statement on behalf of his team-mates.

"I want to speak on behalf of all the players," Mokoena told the Sunday Times. "The allegations are shocking and are embarrassing the team."

The 24-year-old captain pointed out that the national team setup has undergone many positive changes since Baxter took charge.

"He has brought us something that has been missing for many years. All the players are back and everybody wants to play for Bafana again."

The Blackburn player, who is set to play against Arsenal in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final, is single-minded in his ambition to achieve success with Bafana Bafana, no matter what obstacles are thrown in the team's path.

"We won't let this distract our mission. We will go to the World Cup whether the critics like it or not. The spirit in the camp since Stuart Baxter took over responsibility is unbelievable."

There has also been rumours that the Bafana side is divided along racial lines, but 'Mbazo' dispelled this myth as well.

"Young and new players get along and there are no factions among the black, coloured and white players," he said.

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