SAFA president Danny Jordaan has revealed how South African-born defender Nikola Tavares nearly gave up his dream to play for Bafana Bafana.
With Croatia also keen to lure him to their national team, the 20-year old Crystal Palace right back was disheartened when he wasn’t selected for the first ever Olympic qualifier by under-23 coach David Notoane.
Notoane had named a provisional squad for the Tokyo 2020 qualifier against Angola in March, but there was no sight of highly rated Tavares.
“He thought if he is not selected for the under-23 team, will he even be considered for the senior team,” Jordaan explained to journalists.
“They were basically saying he is not good enough for the under-23, that is how as a player he was seeing it. He is a young boy and he has got his own doubts. But he is good enough in England, but not for South Africa? In Croatia they were telling him leave those people, here is your passport come play for us.”
Jordaan has confirmed that he will personally go to the embassy in London in an attempt to secure a birth certificate for Tavares that will in turn allow him to apply for a South African passport.
The player was unable to join Bafana coach Stuart Baxter’s provisional squad for the Africa Cup of Nations a month ago because he did not have a passport proving that he was born in South Africa.