South Africa's Benni McCarthy takes his omission well

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Benni McCarthy is disappointed but nevertheless being ‘a good sport’ about the coach’s decision to drop him from the 2010 FIFA World Cup squad South Africa’s Sowetan newspaper reported Tuesday.

In a statement, the striker said: “The final squad is a tough call for any coach to make and I am sure it was not made without heartache”.

“My fitness level came into question after weeks recovering from my knee injury but the coach still believed in me, as did I and the rest of the team, and I am grateful for that”.

MCarthy said while he had worked hard with the technical team to improve his physical fitness, “time became his nemesis”.

Although disappointed, he said: “No one’s place in the final squad is a given. We all gave it our best and pushed ourselves to our limits to make the cut. In the end it comes down to a head count. I am proud to have been given the privilege to have been capped in the South African national squad; unfortunately this time it was not to be”.

All the players who made the national call-up should be proud, he said.

For those who did not, Benni had this message: “We did not fail – we just didn’t make the final 23; we are still a part of the team, if not the squad”.

Benni said he would now focus on supporting the Bafana Bafana team.

“We have a strong team everyone will be proud of and I am in no doubt we will make our mark with the groundswell of support the team has been receiving of late.

“If the carnival spirit of the Super 14 rugby semi-final and final is a measure of the united support we are to expect for Bafana, then I see us excelling.

“My role now is to join in that support.”