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'Tired' Pienaar quits international football

Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar has resigned from international football.

Bafana Bafana player Steven Pienaar. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar has retired from international football.

He sent a letter to the South African Football Association stating that he would no longer be available to represent the country with immediate effect, just days before the squad flies to Poland form an international friendly.

Pienaar has cited work overload as his reason for quitting international football.

In his resignation letter, Pienaar states that after 10 years of national service, coupled with his commitment to English side Everton, his body is tired.

Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says he respects Pienaar's decision and will only pick players who deserve to play.

"Nobody will be guaranteed a place in this team. I don't care if it's Steven Pienaar or Messi. If they don't earn a place, they won't play in the national team."

Igesund has appointed defender Bongani Khumalo as the new skipper.

Meanwhile, Igesund also named his squad to take on Poland and Kenya later this month.

Bafana team

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Wayne Sandilands (Mamelodi Sundowns), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates)

Defenders: Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic), Luvhengo Mungomeni (Moroka Swallows), Punch Masenamela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Ricardo Nunes (MSK Zilina) (Slovakia), Bongani Khumalo (PAOK) (Greece) - captain, Siyabonga Sangweni (Orlando Pirates), Erick Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Bevan Fransman (SuperSport United)

Midfielders: Teko Modise (Sundowns), Lerato Chabangu (Moroka Swallows), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Delron Buckley (Maritzburg United), May Mahlangu (Helsingborg IF) (Sweden), Dean Furman (Oldham Athletic) (England), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace) (England), Sifiso Myeni (Orlando Pirates), Katlego Mashego (Moroka Swallows), George Lebese (Kaizer Chiefs)

Strikers: Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs), Dino Ndlovu (Maccabi Haifa) (Israel), Tokelo Rantie (Malmo FF) (Sweden)

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