Igesund Explains Serero Saga

South Africa coach Gordon Igesund has revealed what went down with Thulani Serero, who was kicked out of the Bafana camp for ‘disciplinary reasons’. 

I’m gonna tell you what went down exactly word for word, situation for situation. 

On Thursday I had already informed Thulani Serero that he’s been excellent at training, he’s performing well and I need him to take it to the next step."

"I said to him everyone in this country knows he plays in Holland and I asked him to show the people in this country what kind of a player he is."

I said, ‘I’m gonna tell you right now that I’m gonna start you on Saturday (against Botswana). I want you to start expressing yourself and getting in the right frame of mind’.

I know he is a type of player that I need to get into his mind and start working."

He trained on Thursday and he then went to my team doctor to tell him he’s got a tight muscle in his thigh/groin area.

The doctor checked him out and said he is okay - he is 100% and there is a no groin injury.

The doctor had six or seven players in the team with tight muscles.

He trained that session and again he was outstanding, looking very good and moving the ball around.


On Friday, my assistant coach Serame came to me and he said Thulani had approached him to tell him he doesn’t want to play.

Serame said Thulani felt that he might get injured and he needs to play for his team (Ajax Amsterdam).

So I was quite shocked with that and I called Thulani, my doctor and my assistant coach to a meeting in my room.

I asked Thulani, ‘Are you injured’?

He said, ‘I have a tight muscle and I’m scared I might injure myself’.

So I said, ‘Thulani, you got to work with me here son. You know I want you in the team and now you say you don’t want to play’.

So I asked him, ‘What do you want me to say when people ask me why you are not playing?’ and he said if they ask him he would say no comment…

The doctor was there and I asked him, ‘I want to know from you doctor, has Thulani got a slight injury?’

The doctor said he doesn’t have an injury and he’s got a tight muscle with like six or seven other players.

It turns out Thulani told the doctor that he doesn’t want to play because he’s got a big game in Holland next week – a UEFA Champions League match and he can’t afford to get injured.

There was no patriotism there.

I can’t take that, that is unacceptable.

I was annoyed because why did he even come.

He was even arrogant at some stage and he stood up and said, ‘If you want me to say I’m injured, then I will say I’m injured’.

That really got me going…

The truth of the matter is that Thulani Serero turned his back on us because he wants to play in the Champions League… That is insulting in my opinion.”

“He flew business class that cost R60 000 to fly over here with the intention of not playing”, added Igesund.  

Sorero Insists He Was Injured:
Thulani Serero insists he was really injured for the match against Botswana and remains fully committed to the national team.

Serero has hit back at Igesund’s claims and insists he suffered a reoccurrence of the groin injury that kept him sidelined for a few months.

“I would not have travelled to Durban from Holland if I did not want to play,” he said. 

“The truth of the matter is that I started feeling an excruciating pain after Wednesday's training. Later in the evening I went to coach Gordon to explain to him that I suspect my niggling groin problem is coming back.

It was the same pain I felt when I was out of action for several months last year.”

Igesund said that Serero would be called to a disciplinary hearing in due time.