Benni McCarthy © Backpagepix
Benni McCarthy © Backpagepix
IGESUND REFUTES MCCARTHY REPORT

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund refuted a report on Wednesday that he had spoken to top scorer Benni McCarthy about the possibility of representing South Africa in Brazil.

SA Football Association (Safa) spokesman Dominic Chimhavi said in an email to Sapa that Igesund had "expressed his discontent at the way journalists continue to misrepresent him with regards to Benni McCarthy being recalled to the national set-up".

Chimhavi said: "Commenting on an article which appeared on Sapa late on Wednesday, Igesund said he had never made any decision with regards to the player, adding the speculation was putting him under immense pressure."

Safa was responding to a Sapa news report earlier in the day, quoting Igesund as saying he would "certainly consider" McCarthy for selection if he was fit enough and enthusiastic about playing for Bafana.

Igesund disputes the Sapa story.

"I have never spoken about any player being recalled to the national team," Igesund was quoted as saying in the email sent by Chimhavi.

"That is not my aim at the moment. I am busy engaging clubs as a way of building healthy relationships and the issue of McCarthy is sidetracking that undertaking.

"It is unfortunate journalists are making up stories and this is very regrettable.

"The whole episode is unfair to Benni as he believes I am saying these statements and if he is not picked, he will be devastated.

"I have not and I repeat, I have not commented about any player at the moment, Benni included," said Igesund.

Bafana Bafana is due to play Brazil in Sao Paulo in an international friendly in September.

The 34 year-old McCarthy has scored 31 times in his 79 international matches for South Africa, but was axed ahead of the 2009 Confederations Cup.

However, he made a successful comeback with Orlando Pirates upon returning to South African soccer last season and displayed a knack for scoring important goals.