- The Bafana Bafana coach said he plans on focusing on South African-born players when picking his squad
- Molefi Ntseki was responding to ongoing calls for Serbian-born Samir Nurkovic and Uruguyan born Gaston Sirino to play for Bafana Bafana
- Ntseki said South African-born players need to be given a chance first
Bafana Bafana haven’t qualified for the World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations in the same year for almost two decades, but coach Molefi Ntseki is confident they can break that streak next year.
The AFCON was scheduled to take place next year in Cameroon but has since been moved to 2022 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Players are eager to earn their stripes and make their country proud, including some who weren't born in South Africa.
Mamelodi Sundowns star midfielder Gaston Sirino and Kaizer Chiefs play-maker Samir Nurkovic are eligible to represent Bafana Bafana, even though they duo were not born in South Africa.
Sirino was born and bred in Uruguay and Nurkovic was born in Serbia. Both players qualify to play for Bafana Bafana.
The duo, who have both had splendid seasons for their respective teams, are yet to don the jerseys of their national teams, making them eligible to player for Bafana Bafana, said IOL.
Ntseki, however, has expressed his desire to focus on South African-born players. Ntseki said:
"We must be very careful. Let me make an example about Sirino and Nurkovic. Are we giving enough attention to what we have before we can move for a player that has to be naturalised?
"Are we comparing that player with what we have in the country and giving opportunities to what we have in the country?"
When World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers start next year, Ntseki insists he will focus on South African-born players.
Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has been impressed with Sirino and has been pushing for him to play at national level.
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