Jose Riveiro has responded to remarks from his Bafana Bafana counterpart Hugo Broos about the timing of the Carling Cup, set to be staged at FNB Stadium in Soweto on Saturday.
Broos is concerned that the players he included in his 23-man squad announced on Tuesday might get injured in the Carling Black Label Cup, which is a friendly tournament.
A total of 13 players from Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu, selected by Broos in his Bafana squad for the friendlies against Mozambique and Angola, are part of the starting line-ups for their respective teams as voted by the fans in the Carling Cup.
The players are Njabulo Blom, Kgaogelo Sekgota, (both from Chiefs), Miguel Timm, Monnapule Saleng and Zakhele Lepasa from Pirates.
Themba Zwane, Rushine de Reuck, Ronwen Williams, Grant Kekana, Teboho, Mokoena, Thapelo Morena, and Aubrey Modiba from Sundowns. And Veli Mothwa from AmaZulu.
The Bafana coach, Broos, believes the Carling Cup was supposed to be played as a preseason tournament at the start of the season as it delays the national team’s preparations.
“I don’t see the sense of it. It’s [about] money. I would have been happier if that tournament was played just before the restart of the league,” said Broos.
“Why do we have to lose a week [of preparation for the friendlies]?
“But I don’t think players are happy to play such a tournament now, even the coaches, I don’t think they are [happy].”
Broos’ peer, Riveiro, says he understands where the Bafana coach is coming from and sympathise with him.
The Carling Black Label Cup will see AmaZulu tackle Mamelodi Sundowns in the first semifinal at 9:30, while Kaizer Chiefs will meet in Orlando Pirates in the later game at 12:00.
The winners in the semis will lock horns in the final of the single-day tournament at 17:00, with the losing teams scheduled to play in a penalty shootout for the third place at 15h30.
“I have nothing to say about his [Broos’] opinion, he is free to say whatever he says to say, probably he has his reasons,” said Riveiro.
“We are all thinking about our own schedules and dynamics, I can understand his point of view, but there is nothing we can do as coaches.”
Bafana will gather on Sunday when the international break for the FIFA World Cup begins.
The hiatus end on December 18, with the global showpiece set to start on November 20 in Qatar and conclude on December 18.
Broos’ troops will play against Mozambique on November 17 and take on Angola three days later at the Mbombela Stadium.