Mamelodi Sundowns striker Phakamani Mahlambi has been released from the Bafana Bafana squad that is in camp for the Cosafa Cup tournament.
Mahlambi returned to the Bafana Bafana fold for the regional tournament after some impressive displays for the Brazilians this past season.
The 21-year-old has been undergoing a transition of sorts after signing for Sundowns at the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign following a disappointing spell at Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
However, after a murky start to life at the Tshwane giants, Mahlambi slowly regained his form, but his release from the camp will be seen as a major blow to his progress.
Mahlambi featured 18 times for Sundowns in their successful league campaign and found the back of the net on four occasions.
Reports suggest that Mahlambi allegedly arrived at the training grounds under the influence of alcohol, forcing the technical team to boot him from the squad.
However, the allegations have not been confirmed, but interim coach David Notoane emphasized the importance of discipline within the squad.
“Discipline is very important. It is the first foundation of success,” Notoane was quoted as saying by Phakaaathi.
“Mentality comes in‚ but discipline and mentality cannot be separated,” said Notoane, who is standing in for head coach Stuart Baxter.
“We don’t have control of that. You bring a player into a professional set-up‚ you believe you can develop their talent and shape their talent,” he concluded. Article continues below
Bafana are using the regional tournament as a platform to feed many of the younger players into the system for years to come.
Cape Town City winger Gift Links has been called up to replace Mahlambi.
Bafana Bafana take on Botswana in the quarter-final of this year’s Cosafa Cup on Sunday afternoon.