Bafana Bafana head coach Molefi Ntseki has explained why Rangers have gone back on their initial decision to release Bongani Zungu for their crucial AFCON qualifiers.
Zungu was set to meet up with his Bafana Bafana teammates for Bafana’s crucial AFCON qualifier match, which takes place in Sudan this Sunday, after being ruled out of the first match against Ghana due to South Africa’s COVID-19 red zone status.
Click through the gallery above for images from the match against Ghana
But, after the one-all draw with Ghana at the FNB Stadium on Thursday, Ntseki revealed that Rangers have reneged their initial decision to release the 28-year-old after receiving a new list of red zone countries, that would make it difficult for the on-loan Zungu to travel.
“In our first press conference when we reported for camp we said that negotiations are still going on, but on Wednesday we got an email from his club to say they are no longer releasing him, whether coming to South Africa or going to Sudan,” Ntseki told the media.
“Then I spoke to him (Zungu) and he explained to me that, 'It is a situation that will work against me if ever I force to come to Sudan.'
“So, again we saw a new list of countries that are referred to as red zones. In this case we have both Dubai and Ethiopia which has been declared red zones, so for our players to come and join us in Sudan, they would have to come via Dubai or Ethiopia, so Africa is a red zone.
“We are the only ones in South Africa that managed to play against Ghana because the two teams are not red zones,” Ntseki explained.
Bafana will next make their way to Sudan, where they will square off against the hosts at the Al Hilal Stadium in a fixture where nothing less than a draw would ensure their passage to the 2021 AFCON, which will be hosted in Cameroon.