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Sun Apr 20 08:25:53 SAST 2014

Pienaar retires from Bafana

TEAMtalk Media | 02 October, 2012 13:380 Comments
Leeds United v Everton - Capital One Cup Third Round
Michael Brow of Leeds challenges Steven Pienaar (front) of Everton during the League Cup third round match at Elland Road on September 25, 2012 in Leeds, England
Image by: Stu Forster / Getty Images

Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar has announced his retirement from international football after 10 years of service for Bafana Bafana.

SAFA CEO Robin Petersen confirmed Pienaar's decision at the Bafana Bafana squad announcement at SAFA house on Tuesday.

A letter addressed to South Africa coach Gordon Igesund and SAFA was read out by Petersen ahead of the squad announcement.

"Dear sirs, it is with regret that I announce my retirement from international football," said Pienaar in his letter.

Igesund insisted he understood the playmaker's decision and held no malice towards him following his long period of service to the national team.

"He's given us 10 years of service and his body is tired," said Igesund.

When asked who would be the new Bafana captain, Igesund responded: "The captain up until 5pm last night was Steven Pienaar, but now it is Bongani Khumalo."

When asked about the injuries to Teko Modise and Reneilwe Letsholonyane, he revealed: "I've been in contact with the club doctors.

"Teko Modise was left out (at the weekend for Sundowns) as a precautionary measure; YeYe just has bone bruises, both are 100% fit and will be available.

And on Pienaar, he added: "His body is very tired, it's very difficult to cope with both Bafana and club football in England. He is 31 years of age and we should respect that instead of finding something to complain about."

On his selection of Ricardo Nunes, Igesund stated: "He is a very exciting player. He warrants a bit of attention and is worth having a look at.

"I don't want to keep selecting the same players every time. How I'm going to know if that's my best squad if I don't see what options I have available to me?

"Me and my technical team need to know we have made the right choice by giving these players a look."

Meanwhile, George Lebese and Delron Buckley have both been called up by Igesund.

Bafana face Poland at the national stadium in Warsaw on October 12 and Kenya, at national stadium in Nairobi, on October 16.

Bafana squad:

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune, Moneeb Josephs, Wayne Sandilands.

Defenders: Thabo Nthethe, Punch Masanamela, Luvhengo Mungomeni, Ricardo Nunes, Bongani Khumalo, Siyabonga Sangweni, Eric Mathoho, Bevan Fransman.

Midfielders: Teko Modise, Lerato Chabangu, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Delron Buckley, May Mahlangu, Dean Furman, George Lebese, Oupa Manyisa, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Sifiso Myeni, Katlego Mashego.

Strikers: Bernard Parker, Tokelo Rantie, Dino Ndlovu.

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