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Page last updated at 16:34 GMT, Tuesday, 24 March 2009

McCarthy withdraws from SA squad

Benni McCarthy
McCarthy was given a clean bill of health by his club, before withdrawing

Benni McCarthy's future with South Africa's football team is in question after the Blackburn Rovers striker withdrew from the country's squad.

His club had given him permission to join up with Bafana Bafana for upcoming friendlies, following a scan.

But the player himself said he was suffering pain and pulled out.

Asked about McCarthy's future with the national side, coach Joel Santana said players will be picked depending on their attitude as well as their skill.

McCarthy picked up a hamstring strain at the weekend playing for the English Premier League side.

"The player's club Blackburn Rovers found that the hamstring was normal and that the club had no objection for McCarthy to travel," a statement from the country's football association said.

"[South Africa's team doctor] had a telephone discussion with Benni following up on the report received from his club's medical team, but Benni insisted that he feels tremendous pain," the statement said.

"We are still going to make a decision on the names to be sent to Fifa, but our selection is not based only on how good a player is, but also on the correct attitude," Santana said.

Katlego Mashego of Orlando Pirates and Katlego Mphela of Mamelodi Sundowns have been drafted in as replacements for McCarthy and Kagisho Dikgacoi of Lamontville Golden Arrows, who has also withdrawn.

The World Cup 2010 hosts play Norway in Rustenburg on Saturday and Portugal in Lausanne, Switzerland next Tuesday.

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see also
McCarthy boost for South Africa
18 Nov 08 |  African
McCarthy included in SA squad
13 Aug 08 |  African
McCarthy blasts Safa bosses
01 Aug 08 |  African
McCarthy to miss qualifiers
28 May 08 |  African
McCarthy wants Cup swansong
07 Mar 08 |  African

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