David Notoane explains why Liam Jordan did not report for South Africa Under-23 duty

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Jordan had been one of the prominent figures called up at last week’s squad announced for the camp ahead of the under-23 side’s Olympic qualifiers against Angola this month.

However, the 20-year-old midfielder, who has been showing good form at his Danish First Division club HB Køge, did not report for duty as planned along with his fellow internationally-based teammates this week.

When quizzed over his absence, Notoane clarified that an agreement had been struck between the SA Football Association and the player’s club.

“The situation with Liam is that the call-ups went out and the club seems to have received the call-up late,” said Notoane.

“But I think they are also restarting their league campaign in a week or two, so they’ve requested us to allow him to continue so that we don’t destabilise him.

“We also don’t want to burn relations with the clubs where our boys abroad are playing, so we felt that, on the balance of permutations available to us, let’s allow the boy to cement his place in his club’s team and continue with the good form he’s been showing.”

The Mamelodi Sundowns youth coach is also cognisant of the fact that given the timing of fixtures ahead, some clubs may refuse to release players such as Lyle Foster, and therefore it is important to maintain healthy relations between the respective parties so that they could then call on favours at a later stage. 

“Of course, we have other camps coming up for the next qualifiers and hopefully we will bring Jordan on board,” he added.

“I’m sure that, going forward, it’s going to be a similar story with the likes of Lyle Foster, who is doing very well with Monaco, and at some point, outside of the FIFA window, they’ll want to be saying, ‘No, we’re not giving him.’

“Then we can go back to Liam’s club and say, ‘Hey, we gave you one [favour] the last time.’ So, it’s a give and take relationship wherever possible.

“The most important thing is to support the players in their development at their clubs, but also not to disregard them in the national team program just because they couldn’t honour a call-up. No, it’s about that. We have to find the balance.”