KAMOHELO Mokotjo is set to answer a knock at his door in Holland in the coming weeks and find his nemesis, Ephraim "Shakes" Mashaba, standing on his front porch.

Tough-talking South African Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan has been cracking the whip at Safa House over the past few days and has told the Bafana Bafana head coach to visit all South African players around the world after the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Senegal in Polokwane next month, including Dutch-based Mokotjo.

Jordaan told Sunday Times this is not negotiable and Mashaba is well aware that he must cast the net wider and beyond South Africa's borders if Bafana Bafana are to be one of the teams that qualify for the global showpiece to be held in Russia in two years.

"Well, I think he [Mashaba] understands this [visiting all overseas-based players]," the former Nelson Mandela Bay mayor said.

"If he doesn't understand it and he doesn't carry it out, then I do not think that I can be to blame [for what happens next]. I think he understands it."

This means Mashaba will have to fit Dutch-based Mokotjo into his itinerary in the coming weeks and it should make for a fascinating reunion between two headstrong individuals with obdurate personalities.

Mokotjo quit the national team in a huff in April and he said at the time that he wouldn't make himself available for selection again as long as Mashaba remained Bafana coach.

The two have had a strained relationship dating back several years and the FC Twente midfielder cited his lack of Bafana game time under Mashaba as reason for electing to pull the plug on his international career.

There are several South African players based in Europe – including France-based Kermit Erasmus and Lebogang Phiri, among a host of others – whose relationship with a Bafana shirt is limited to Nike sports shops around the world and many of them are not even known to the nation's soccer lovers.

A stern Jordaan said Mashaba cannot continue to ignore these players without even giving them an opportunity to prove themselves and show what they can offer South Africa.

He added that there needs to be drastic changes in the way the Bafana coach makes his selections and this must happen after the Senegal game.

While the Safa president was happy that Mashaba handed a maiden call-up to Dutch-born striker Lars Veldwijk – he qualifies to play for Bafana through his South African father – to the squad to face Senegal, he remained adamant that the national team coach had barely scratched the surface.

"We have a high number of players playing around the world.

"So in those few months [between next month's qualifier against Senegal and the next one away to Cape Verde in August next year], the coach will have to go to Europe.

"He must go visit and see all the players.

"He must talk to them, engage them, he must go and then make up his mind about the squad that will face the next challenges next year."

Bafana are two points behind Senegal in Group D and Mashaba said this week that he intends to take the fight to the West Africans at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane on November 12 if Bafana are to close the gap in the 2018 World Cup qualifying group.

Jordaan's directive also extends to the other South African sides and the coaches of the junior national teams will also have to cast the net wider when they select players.

"Even our junior teams," Jordaan said.

"We have Luther Singh who is going to have a trial at Real Madrid. And yet he is not in our SA Under-20 team and he is 19-years old.

"These are the things we talked to them [national team coaches] about.

"It can't be that when a player leaves the country he is forgotten." – Timeslive


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