Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter has cleared the air regarding striker Tokelo Rantie's late arrival in the Bafana camp for the team's crucial 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Cape Verde at Praia's Estadio Nacional on Friday evening.
The former Orlando Pirates man, who plies his trade in Turkey for Genclerbirligi, was supposed to join his teammates on Tuesday, but only made it to camp on Wednesday evening after experiencing issues at the airport in Turkey, thus resulting in Rantie having a long conversation with his coach upon his arrival in camp.
"What I wanted to establish was the mistake on his side and there is that question of his attitude. After talking to him I'm sure he's shown me his boarding passes and it looks like Turkish airlines made a huge mistake," Baxter said.
"He was at the gate at four o'clock in the morning. He got checked in, and went to the gate and they told him he had been booked on the flight for tomorrow [Wednesday] but he had a boarding pass to be on that flight [Tuesday], but they turned him back. So, he then went back home because he was told there was only one flight he could get and that was 24 hours later. He went home and was in contact with us. We tried to get him on an earlier flight and we couldn't and that's what happened."
"It wasn't Tokelo's fault which was important for me because you know there was a bit of a cloud of doubt before I brought him back and I certainly didn't want to see that cloud get dark again, but it was established it wasn't his fault and that's the good news," he said.
The Scot further expressed that 'TK' was doing fine and had shown signs of focus despite the issues he encountered on his way to Praia.
"Mentally he was quite calm and I was surprised how come. So, he's collective and he's moving on. So, there's no question in my mind that he's developing well himself. If he tells me he wants to play, he shows me today he can play, then of course we would want him ready for that," Baxter related.