The bid by Molefi Ntseki and his men to finish on top of Group C is now under threat due to withdrawals and injuries
South Africa national team doctor Thulani Ngwenya has confirmed that Dean Furman and Thulani Serero will not make it for both Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Ghana and Sudan, while Bongani Zungu will only link up with the team for their final group game.
Bafana Bafana conclude their qualifying campaign away in Sudan on Sunday, after having hosted the Black Stars in Thursday’s penultimate fixture.
English League Two side Carlisle United had indicated that it is up to Furman to report for international duty while Serero’s club Al Jazira did not allow him to travel to South Africa.
There are also doubts about Keagan Dolly being released by his French Ligue 1 club Montpellier.
“There was a pending issue of Bongani Zungu and Keagan Dolly. I can safely say that we have confirmed that Bongani will be joining us in Sudan. We have cleared that. The only pending one now is Keagan and we are still trying to negotiate,” said Ngwenya on Marawa Sport Worldwide on Metro FM and Radio 2000.
“The people who have been confirmed as not coming are Dean Furman and Thulani Serero. So as for the others, we are still negotiating. For instance, with Percy [Tau] we had some issues but we negotiated.
“Now we got [Zungu’s] clearance just before our training session in the afternoon [on Monday] and with that clearance, the team is saying it’s fine he can come to Sudan but he will be joining us in Addis Ababa. We are going to be connecting in Addis when we go together to Sudan and then from Sudan he will then fly back to his team. He will not come to South Africa because there is this scare of the Covid-19 variant.
“I want to make it clear that the clubs are really cooperative. With Dean they are saying yes we can allow him to come but unfortunately when he goes back, he will have to quarantine for 14 days so he will miss about four to five matches. His team said if he is going to quarantine [for that period], they will not release him. His team is even playing now during the international period.”
The uncertainty over the availability of some overseas-based players as well as some injuries to Bradley Grobler and Kermit Erasmus saw Ntseki calling-up new players to join the camp.
The Mamelodi Sundowns duo of Lebohang Maboe and Mothobi Mvala as well as Orlando Pirates forward Vincent Pule, Thabiso Kutumela of Maritzburg United and Cape Town City’s Thabo Nodada were added to the squad.
But Pule, Kutumela, Swallows FC’s Ruzaigh Gamildien and captain Thulani Hlatshwayo arrived in camp with some knocks although Ngwenya played down the seriousness of their injuries.
“In terms of injuries, we have players that came with niggling injuries like Tyson Hlatshwayo with an ankle sprain, we had Vincent Pule who was removed from yesterday’s match [against Kaizer Chiefs] with a knee injury,” said Ngwenya.
“We also had Gamildien who also came with an ankle sprain. We are treating them here in camp and we are confident that we will be able to manage them. Hopefully, they will be able to join the rest of the team tomorrow [Tuesday].”
Bafana Bafana are currently second in Group C with nine points, the same as leaders Ghana.