Not for the first time in his Elland Road career, Leeds United centre-back Lucas Radebe finds himself at the centre of a a club versus country row.
After missing the whole of last season through injury, Radebe recovered in time to feature for South Africa in the World Cup, but his long term knee injury is still keeping him out of the Leeds side.
However Bafana Bafana have threatened to go to FIFA and force Leeds to release the player, for their forthcoming African Cup of Nations qualifier against the Ivory Coast. Such has beenthe pattern of Radebe’s Leeds career in recent years with the Yorkshire club increasingly fed-up with the frequency with which Radebe has been called up for South African international matches.
“I am in a no win situation,” said Radebe. “Whatever I do someone is going to be disappointed.
“I just want someone to make a decision because this has happened too many times and I don’t like it.
“I don’t believe I will be going, though of course I still want to play for my country.
“It’s important to me, especially at this stage of my career.”
South Africa official Stanley Tshabalala confirmed that steps were being taken to force Leeds to release Radebe and also Udinese’s Siyabonga Nomvete.
“We have written to FIFA to forceboth Leeds and Udinese to allow the two players to travel,” said Tshabalala. “We will not back down.”