Phakamani Mahlambi of Bidvest has been withdrawn from the South African U20 Men’s National Team that is to play in the World Cup after a hamstring injury sustained during a training match with his club.
Ajax Cape Town defender Sergio Kammies is expected to fly to South Korea tonight to take his place.
“Judging from the evidence revealed by the ultrasound film that has been sent by Mahlambi’s club and has been forwarded to the FIFA Medical office, the player’s injury is very significant and unfortunately can’t be managed before any of our World Cup games. Surgery would be a better option to enhance recovery however, he will still not be ready for this World Cup tournament and it is for this reason that he has been withdrawn,” said Dr Thulani Ngwenya, the SA U20 team doctor.
His replacement follows a FIFA rule that states that no player can be replaced in the squad without proof of an injury.
His coach Thabo Senong said it was unfortunate that he could not be with the team.
“We have to forge ahead. We would like to wish him a speedy recovery. This has also given us a chance to re-evaluate our squad, so we decided to call up Sergio Kammies to add numbers to our defence because we feel that we have enough strength in attack,” Senong said.
Mahlambi’s replacement, Kammies was part of the team’s preparations prior to the U20 AFCON tournament in Zambia earlier this year as well as the World Cup.
Amajita are in camp in South Korea in preparation of the World Cup that kicks-off on 20 May.