No Benni as Parreira chooses for AFCON
The South African national soccer squad to compete in the 2008 MTN Africa Cup of Nations tournament was announced on Friday, with no room for star frontman Benni McCarthy.
Bafana Bafana's Brazilian mentor Carlos Alberto Parreira (pictured) announced a 23-man squad that does not include Blackburn Rovers striker McCarthy, but club mate Aaron Mokoena - the regular SA captain - is in the mix.
According to various reports on Friday, Parreira refused to answer questions related to McCarthy's shock omission.
In McCarthy's absence, Excellent Walaza (Orlando Pirates), Thembinkosi Fanteni (Ajax Cape Town), Lerato Chabangu (Mamelodi Sundowns), Katlego Mphela (Supersport United) and Arminia Bielefeld's (Germany) Sibusiso Zuma were named as the five strikers.
A second Bielefeld player, Rowen Fernandez, was one of three goalkeepers named in the squad, along with BidVest Wits' Moeneeb Josephs and Kaizer Chiefs prospect Itumeleng Khune.
In all, Parreira selected eight overseas-based stars in his squad; Mokoena, Zuma, Fernandez, Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa, Israel), Nasief Morris (Panathinaikos, Greece), Elrio van Heerden (Club Brugge, Belgium), Lance Davids (Djurgardens, Sweden) and Steven Pienaar (Everton, England).
The Bafana Bafana squad (23): Rowen Fernandez, Moeneeb Josephs, Itumeleng Khune, Vuyo Mere, Bryce Moon, Benson Mhlongo, Bevan Fransman, Tsepo Masilela, Brett Evans, Nasief Morris, Aaron Mokoena, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Elrio van Heerden, Lance Davids, Surprise Moriri, Katlego Mphela, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Lerato Chabangu, Steven Pienaar, Teko Modise, Sibusisi Zuma, Thembinkosi Fanteni, Excellent Walaza.