Tokelo Rantie has been withdrawn from the Bafana Bafana squad to play Gambia in a CAF Orange Africa Cup of Nations Gabon 2017 qualifier on Saturday, 13 June 2015 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Kick-off is at 15:00. Rantie has written a letter to the national team requesting that he still had to complete wedding rituals and was unsure as to when he will be arriving in camp.
The striker got married last weekend. Thamsanqa Gabuza of Orlando Pirates has been called up as a replacement. Bafana Bafana boss Shakes Mashaba says: ‘As the national team we gave Rantie the benefit of the doubt but had to put a deadline on the matter, so when he did not arrive on Wednesday we took a decision to release him from the squad. In the meantime we looked at possible replacements and contacted several players but found they were not available as most of the players are on holiday at this time of the year so it was a difficult task to undertake. Of course it is a big blow not to have a striker of Rantie’s calibre for this big match, but I have confidence in the strikers that are in camp. I believe we will still have positive results. The good thing about Gabuza is that he has been playing throughout and his fitness levels are where they need to be as his club is still involved in the CAF Confederation Cup, so there is nothing to worry about on that aspect.’
Upfront, Gabuza joins Vuyisile Wana, Sphelele Ntshangase, Bonginkosi Ntuli and Gift Motupa to battle it out for selection. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Brilliant Khuzwayo sat out Thursday’s (11 June) training session at Peoples’ Park in Durban due to a bout of flu. Bafana Bafana will have their final training session on Friday (12 June) at the match venue in the morning.
Photo credit: AFP PHOTO / CARL DE SOUZA