Wed. Sep 30th, 2020

Rivaldo Coetzee agent refutes claims that the player went AWOL

Bafana BafanaRivaldo Coetzee was left out of the Bafana squad for Afcon after not returning to the training camp.

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Mike Makaab, agent to Mamelodi Sundowns defender Rivaldo Coetzee, has spoken up after the player failed to return to the Bafana training camp ahead of the Afcon squad announcement.

The 22-year-old did not make the 23-man squad, under controversial circumstances, as national coach Stuart Baxter labelled him “unselectable” as he was not part of the preparations for the tournament.

This is after the player asked to be excused on the first day of the camp in order to look after his ailing mother.

Speaking to Soccer Laduma, Makaab fired back at claims that Coetzee had gone AWOL without giving updates to Baxter and his technical team.

“Can you imagine how the young man would have felt if he went to the Afcon and his mother died? He would have not been able to live with himself,” Makaab told the publication.

“It’s nonsense that Rivaldo went AWOL. It would have been foolish for him to miss an opportunity to go to the Afcon, but he and I had a chat, and he made it clear that his family comes first. His mom is stable now, fortunately. But as far as I know, he informed the coach about his circumstances.”

Mike Makaab

Coetzee has made 19 appearances for Bafana Bafana since making his debut as a teenager in October 2014, under Baxter’s predecessor Ephraim “Shakes” Mashaba.

He last donned national colours in an international friendly against Zambia in June 2017, before he was sidelined by a devastating foot injury which stood in the way of a dream move to Scottish giants Celtic.

The youngster sought to revive his career by joining Sundowns in 2017, where he enjoyed his first full season in the previrus campaign, impressing enough to get a national call up.

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