Pienaar & Essien slammed as egotistical
Everton's Steven Pienaar and Chelsea's Michael Essien have been branded as selfish and egotistical by Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana.
Nonkonyana was speaking as chairman of the Local Organising Committee ahead of South Africa hosting this years African Cup of Nations.
Essien has asked to be excused from playing in the tournament, whilst 30-year-old Pienaar announced his retirement from international football in October.
Pienaar had played for South Africa over 60 times over the past decade and had captained his country, but the travelling was beginning to take it's toll and Pienaar opted to retire from international football in a bid to prolong his playing career.
It's something that we have seen a number of British players do over the years and that's without all the travelling required when representing South Africa.
But the decision has angered some people back in his home country, especially with South Africa hosting the ACN.
"I would say to [Steven Pienaar], he must remember that he came from the ghettos in South Africa and he became a national player because the South African FA identified him and developed him to be where he was, He would not have gone to England unless he had some international caps.' Nonkonyana told The Echo
He continued: "It cannot be right for any player produced [in Africa] to say I prefer my club.
"That is selfishness in my view; it is very egotistical. It is time to instil in every player national pride."
'It is time now for players to be proud of their own nations. The gentlemen we are talking about, they are megastars now as a direct result of the contribution of their national associations,'
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