Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has revealed the reason behind the non-inclusion of star midfielder Bongani Zungu in his squad for the two friendlies played during the recent international break.
The player – on loan at Scottish giants Rangers – has only made one appearance since the former SA Under-17 mentor took over the reins from Stuart Baxter, and was a big-name omission from the latest squad.
‘No bad blood’
In an interview on SAFM, Ntseki said he had no issue with Zungu, whose last international cap came in the 2-0 defeat to Ghana in November 2019. This is after the player criticised the current state of the Bafana setup in an Instagram live video.
“I’ve never had an issue with any of the players who are not selected. It’s only based on what we want to achieve. Most of the senior players were not selected because we wanted to give new faces a chance,” he said.
Why Ntseki opted against calling Bongani Zungu up
Zungu recently completed a loan move from Amiens to Rangers, linking up with former Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard.
Prior to the move, he had only featured twice for the French outfit, after being frozen out by manager Luka Elsner due to his desire to leave.
Ntseki suggested that the 28-year-old’s change of environment played a role in him not receiving a call-up.
“He had issues with his club (about) moving to Rangers or staying at Amiens. It’s only in the last week he played for Amiens before moving to Rangers.”
Bafana Bafana did not register victory in two matches during the Fifa break, with Namibia holding on for a 1-1 draw, while Zambia came back from a goal down to win 2-1.
Meanwhile, Zungu could be in line to make his Rangers debut in the Old Firm derby away to Celtic on Saturday, 17 October.
The ‘Gers are currently top of the Scottish Premiership standings, with eight wins in ten matches.