‘Sirino to Bafana Bafana should not be a discussion’ – Mamelodi Sundowns' Mokwena

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Gaston Sirino Mamelodi Sundowns.
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rhulani Mokwena has explained the importance of Gaston Sirino’s potential switch to Bafana Bafana.
  • Sirino eligible for South African citizenship
  • Boasts massive experience
  • Mokwena supports switch

WHAT HAPPENED? Since South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan suggested that the Uruguayan could play for Bafana Bafana, there has been intense debate around that topic.

The 31-year-old Masandawana forward will be eligible to switch loyalty to South Africa after being in the country for the last five years, as per the country’s laws governing the naturalization of foreign citizens.

While explaining how important such a switch will be, Mokwena pointed out how players born outside have always been beneficial to the countries that adopt them.

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WHAT HAS BEEN SAID: "France won the World Cup," said Mokwena, as per iDiski Times.

"Got to the finals of this World Cup with players that have a lot of African descent, grew up, and were born in different African countries, but are now eligible to represent their national team.

"It surprises me that it’s a discussion, it shouldn’t be a discussion, in fact, the talk should be about how we make our national team better.

"If our feeling is that one of the solutions is to nationalise some of the exceptional players who don’t get to play for their national teams, then sure.

"If the end possibility can help us to win and get ourselves to that level, then I see no reason why we should not be able to do that."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Sirino – who was signed in 2018 - is a multiple title winner with the Brazilians and has scored 36 goals and provided 39 assists in 164 games.

Should he choose to become a South African citizen, he qualifies to play for Bafana as Fifa laws will allow him to do so.

According to those laws, a player with no biological links to the country he is playing in, is required to have lived in that country for a period of five years to be considered eligible to change nationality.

WHAT NEXT FOR SIRINO? As debate surrounds his possible Bafana switch, the forward should currently be focused on Sundowns’ campaign.

His ambition is to gain more starts, as he has started from the bench on most occasions this season.