South Africa have refused to allow Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar to stay in England for a League Cup semi-final against title holders Chelsea on Tuesday.

A South African Football Association (SAFA) spokesman said Pienaar was expected in Johannesburg on Sunday to start preparing for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations which takes place between 20 January and 10 February in Ghana.

A ruling by world football governing body FIFA says clubs must release players 14 days before the biennial tournament, stirring protests from English Premiership managers with African stars.

Pienaar wanted to arrive late for South Africa's training camp, but SAFA refused to make an exception after turning down a similar request from Greece-based defender Nasief Morris.

The 23-man South African squad coached by former Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira arrive in Durban on Monday where they will play non-cap friendlies against Mozambique and Botswana.

South Africa, hosts and winners of the 1996 Cup of Nations, are with Tunisia, Senegal and Angola in Group D, considered the most intriguing as each country is capable of finishing among the top two and reaching the quarter-finals.