SuperSport United midfielder Clifford Mulenga is eligible to be selected for Zambia but the choice rests solely with coach Herve Renard, the country’s football association said.
Mulenga was sent home from the Africa Nations Cup finals in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon earlier this year because of indiscipline. He missed out on a winners’ medal and handsome financial rewards as his country won an unexpected first-ever continental title.
He has not been picked since, missing World Cup and 2013 Nations Cup qualifiers in recent months, but the Football Association of Zambia, general secretary George Kasengele says there is no restriction on Mulenga being chosen again.
Mulenga fell short of begging for a chance to return to the side in a recent interview in the Pretoria News but did admit he had taken a few wrong turns in a career high on expectation but short on delivery.
“I know where I have gone wrong and right. I have messed up on a few occasions. I am human. I have to learn from that,” he said.
But he still insists he did apologise for breaking the curfew during the tournament and going on a night out with five teammates in Equatorial Guinea. He was the only one sent home because Zambia officials said, at the time, he refused to apologise.
“This is not true,” insists Mulenga. ‘The only thing the coach said to me is that he had found out that I and other guys had gone out and I was the bad influence among the group so he decided that I should leave the team. That’s how I got kicked out,” Mulenga added.
Renard said he would not pick Mulenga again but the new SuperSport signing, likely to feature in Saturday night’s MTN8 final, is hoping good performances can force a change of mind.