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Page last updated at 12:38 GMT, Thursday, 6 August 2009 13:38 UK

Santana taken ill in Brazil

By Piers Edwards
BBC Sport, Johannesburg

Joel Santana
Santana was unable to fly back to South Africa for medical reasons

Coach Joel Santana is a doubt to lead South Africa in next Wednesday's home friendly against Serbia after contracting pneumonia.

The 60-year-old had been due to return from holiday in his native Brazil on Tuesday but was unable to fly for medical reasons.

"Santana's doctors will not let him travel because he has acute pneumonia," said Raymond Hack, chief executive officer of the South African FA.

"He has had bronchitis and pneumonia for the last eight days, and the final diagnosis as to when he can travel will be done on Monday morning.

"He has assured us he will return to the country as soon as he is cleared by the doctor, and we're hoping that will be Tuesday at the latest."

In Santana's absence, assistant coaches Jairo Leal and Pitso Mosimane announced Bafana Bafana's 23-man squad for the match.

It was a good day for Golden Arrows striker Richard Henyekane, who topped last season's local scoring charts with 19 league goals yet failed to make South Africa's Confederations Cup squad.

Henyekane, the squad's only uncapped player, comes in for Terror Fanteni, who disappointed in June's Confederations Cup.

"Richard was top scorer in the league and the coach wants to give him a chance, as Fanteni had his during the Confederations Cup," explained Leal.

"The door is still open for anyone to get into our World Cup squad."

Meanwhile, Bernard Parker, the main striker who earned a move to Holland following his bright displays in the Fifa tournament, misses out because of injury.

Interestingly, a slot has been found for defender Bryce Moon, whose car was involved in a fatal collision with a pedestrian while driving home from South Africa's Confederations Cup after-party.

Serbia, who top Group 7 of European World Cup qualifying above France, should provide a good test for the 2010 World Cup hosts, with the likes of Nemanja Vidic, Dejan Stankovic and Nikola Zigic expected in town.



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see also
Santana satisfied with Bafana
26 Jun 09 |  African
Radebe fears Santana exit
31 May 09 |  African
World Cup: One year to go
11 Jun 09 |  Africa
In defence of the vuvuzela
19 Jun 09 |  African


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