confederations cup

South Africa leave out Morris due to attitude

June 4, 2009

Defender Nasief Morris has been left out of South Africa's squad for this month's Confederations Cup because of his poor attitude.

Coach Joel Santana declined to comment on the decision at news conference in Johannesburg on Thursday but South African soccer officials told reporters Morris had displayed a confrontational attitude since joining up with the national training squad.

Santana has made much of his philosophy of creating a family atmosphere among the players as they build up to South Africa's hosting of the 2010 World Cup finals.

Morris, who spent last season on loan at Recreativo Huelva in Spain from Greek club Panathinaikos, has won 38 caps since his debut just over five years ago but lost his regular place in the side last year.

It is the second selection surprise after Santana dropped the country's top striker Benni McCarthy when he named his preliminary squad last month for the eight-team tournament.

The Confederations Cup, which runs from June 14-28, is a test event for the 2010 World Cup. South Africa host Iraq and New Zealand in their first two group matches before playing European champions Spain.

Brazil, Egypt, the U.S. and world champions Italy are in the other group.

Goalkeepers: Brian Baloyi (Mamelodi Sundowns), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Rowen Fernandez (Armenia Bielefeld)

Defenders: Matthew Booth (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siboniso Gaxa (Mamelodi Sundowns), Morgan Gould (SuperSport United), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa), Innocent Mdledle (Orlando Pirates), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth), Bryce Moon (Panathinaikos)

Midfielders: Lance Davids (SuperSport United), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Benson Mhlongo (Orlando Pirates), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Steven Pienaar (Everton), Macbeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Elrio van Heerden (Blackburn Rovers),

Strikers: Thembinkosi Fanteni (Maccabi Haifa), Katlego Mashego (Orlando Pirates), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Bernard Parker (Red Star Belgrade)