As a result, the two players are understood to have missed training sessions and friendly games against Polokwane City, Bloemfontein Celtic and Bidvest Wits that took place at Wits University on Friday. It is believed that the pair will also miss the Carling Black Label Cup that will pit their team against arch-rivals Kaizer Chiefs at a sold-out FNB Stadium on Saturday.

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Rakhale's agent Mandla Mthembu neither denied nor confirmed the news, saying it was a "private matter".

"The medical team of the club are the ones who are better placed to talk on the matter," he said.

Orlando Pirates administrator Floyd Mbhele said: "It would be unfair for the club to comment on the matter because circumcision is a personal thing, which unlike pregnancy is not out in the open. All I know is that the players are at training."

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He did not deny that Rakhale and Qalinge were not part of the friendly games at Wits on Friday. Qalinge's phone rang unanswered and he did not respond to our questions sent via SMS.

A South African Football Players Union (Safpu) official close to the players confirmed that the pair had a snip and their operations have affected their team's plans for the upcoming beer jamboree.

The official, who did not want to be named as he is not authorised to speak to the media, disclosed that the players were currently nursing circumcision wounds at their homes.

"They underwent the procedure at a doctor's practice in Parktown two weeks ago. They went together to the doctor and were supporting each other after the procedure," said the union official.