Orlando Pirates requested the players be dropped.
South Africa coach, Gordon Igesund, has agreed to Orlando Pirates’ request to withdraw their players from the Bafana Bafana squad that will face Nigeria in the Nelson Mandela Challenge in Durban on August 14.
The club made the appeal after six of its players – Senzo Meyiwa, Andile Jali, Oupa Manyisa, Thandani Ntshumayelo, Thabo Matlaba and Daine Klate – were called up for national duty in a match that will be played three days before their CAF Champions League fixture against Zamalek.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, considering that we were using this as part of our preparations for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Botswana.
“This decision, however, is good for both parties because our nation comes first,’’ Igesund said.
He said while he has the responsibility to the country to pick the best players, “there are times when we have to look at the broader interests of the nation, which is what I have done’’.
The club has welcomed the decision, saying, “We are grateful that the national team has agreed to our request.
“We have always been mindful of the fact that this is a FIFA weekend and the onus lay with the Bafana Bafana head coach on whether to release the players or not’’.
Pirates moved to the top of CAF Champions’ League Group A with a comfortable 3-0 win over Al Ahly last weekend.
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