Uncovered – efforts to bring Serero back into the foldThomas Kwenaite
The enfant terrible of South African football – Thulani “Cream” Serero – could be persuaded to return to the national team set-up if both the player and the South African Football Association (SAFA) smoke the peace pipe.
Serero’s run-ins with authorities as well as with national team-coaches are well documented. And early this year, SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble issued a statement banning the Vitesse Arnhem attacking midfielder has been banned from ever wearing a South African shirt.
This was after Serero had allegedly requested a guarantee that he would be fielded in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Senegal after he had been called up from the Netherlands and then watched from the bench against Cape Verde (twice) and Burkina Faso by Stuart Baxter.
There followed a heavy debate with a section of the population claiming Serero was right in demanding to be guaranteed game-time while others felt Baxter would be setting a dangerous precedent if he agreed to guarantee a player game time.
But like they always say in politics, nothing is permanent and www.thomaskwenaite.co.za has established that there has been subtle efforts aimed at persuading Serero to come out of his exile for the bid to qualify for the 2019 African Nations Cup.
South Africa currently leads Group E by seven points, followed by Nigeria on six while Libya have collected four points. Bafana Bafana are away to Seychelles in Victoria and Nigeria face Libya in Sfax, Tunisia today.
The bigger picture of course, is the FIFA 2022 World Cup final in Qatar.