South Africa star Benni McCarthy said on Wednesday he will miss four 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers during June because of unspecified personal problems.
The Blackburn Rovers striker, who shunned national squad training this week, made the announcement after meeting new Brazil-born national coach Joel Santana in the South African economic capital. His absence will be particularly felt Sunday when Bafana Bafana (The Boys) launch their Group 4 campaign away to bogey team Nigeria at the National Stadium in Abuja.
South Africa also host Equatorial Guinea and face Sierra Leone away and home during June in a competition that doubles as qualifiers for the 2010 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Angola . They are guaranteed a place as hosts at the first FIFA World Cup to be staged in Africa, but must compete to claim a place at the Angola tournament.
McCarthy, who has enjoyed an often-fraught relationship with Bafana since bursting on to the international scene at the 1998 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, has scored a record 30 goals for his country.