Soccer: All Whites-South Africa friendly in doubt

The All Whites are set to face South Africa on May 30. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The All Whites are set to face South Africa on May 30. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The All Whites' international friendly against South Africa next week could be in doubt with reports of a mass withdrawal of players from the South African squad.

According to the IOL Sport website, players from glamour clubs Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have walked out on the side citing exhaustion after a gruelling season.

South African coach Gordon Igesund said that he couldn't hold a training session today because he didn't have any players.

South Africa are set to face Australia on May 26 at Sydney's ANZ Stadium before playing the All Whites at Mt Smart Stadium on Friday May 30. The Socceroos are using the game as a final home warm-up before the FIFA World Cup.

A South Africa team official told Sapa: "At this stage, we have more officials and invited media booked to go to Australia than players. It's a disaster if something can't be sorted out."

The South African squad is due to leave for Australia on Thursday NZT.

The All Whites will be without their three top English-based players in the friendly.

West Ham's Winston Reid, Ipswich Town's Tommy Smith and Leicester City striker Chris Wood have all elected not to return for the match, which falls outside FIFA's international window.

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