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Did Bongani Zungu throw shade at Molefi Ntseki after Bafana Bafana snub?

12 March 2020 - 15:01 By Marc Strydom
Bongani Zungu is on the verge of playing in La Liga.
Bongani Zungu is on the verge of playing in La Liga.
Image: Gallo Images

Bongani Zungu has appeared to react to the news that he was left out of Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki’s squad for this month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Cape Verde.

Zungu posted what seemed to be a reaction on Twitter‚ when the Amiens SC midfielder tweeted at 12.42pm on Thursday‚ about an hour after Ntseki’s squad announcement in Johannesburg‚ “Wow”‚ with a laughing emoji.

The comments in reaction to Zungu’s tweet clearly indicated it was taken as reacting to being excluded from the squad.

Zungu later deleted the tweet in question.

Whether it was a reaction or not (it was)‚ Zungu’s omission certainly raises eyebrows.

He was Bafana’s best player at the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt. Zungu is one of South Africa’s strongest exports at present in Ligue 1‚ even though Amiens are struggling in the in second-last place.

Zungu impressed in a 4-4 thriller against Ligue 1 giants Paris St-Germain at Amiens’ Stade Credit Agricole de la Licorne last month‚ where his team had raced into a 3-0 lead and the Bafana midfield star played the full 90 minutes.

He has made 24 league and cup appearances for Amiens in 2019-20‚ starting 13.

Ntseki explained Zungu’s absence as being because of the player having niggling injuries this season‚ with Amiens’ relegation zone struggles also a factor.

“Bongani Zungu has been in and out because of injuries so we felt maybe for this Fifa week let’s give him time to spend at his club so hopefully by the end of the season he will be fit and ready to be considered for Bafana Bafana‚” the Bafana coach said.

“The other situation we are finding with Bongani is that his team are actually struggling to get maximum points.

“If you look at Bongani’s history with injuries‚ we felt let’s give him time now and let’s give other players a chance – the likes of George Maluleka‚ Andile Jali and Teboho Mokoena.”

Zungu withdrew from Bafana’s 2-1 friendly Nelson Mandela Challenge win against Mali in Port Elizabeth in October because of a deep laceration on is left leg sustained for Amiens.

His omission was not the only decision to raise eyebrows in Ntseki’s squad.

Chiefs midfielder Maluleka has been strong‚ but recently inconsistent‚ for the Absa Premiership leaders.

Little forward Thabiso Kutumela has been lively for Maritzburg United‚ but has just five goals in 19 league games.

In contrast‚ AmaZulu’s Bonginkosi Ntuli has scored a remarkable 12 of his second-last team’s 14 goals to be the league’s second-top scorer.

Former Orlando Pirates left-back Thabo Matlaba has found a lease of life in midfield for Black Leopards‚ but enough to warrant a Bafana recall at 32 years of age?

Bafana meet Sao Tome at FNB Stadium on Friday.

They travel to the tiny Atlantic Ocean island on Saturday‚ March 28‚ then meet Sao Tome in the return match on the artificial surface of the 6‚500-seater Estadio Nacional de 12 Julho on Tuesday‚ March 31.

South Africa are second in Group C from a 2-0 away defeat to Ghana and 1-0 home win against Sudan.