Patosi may be barred from Malawi game by Belgian club

Bafana Bafana star is waiting to hear if he will be allowed to travel for the 2013 Afcon preparation match, required to prove himself at international level
Ayanda Patosi could be barred from appearing for Bafana Bafana against Malawi on December 22 if his club refuse to release him.

A source close to the player has told that it is likely that Belgian side Lokeren will not allow the 20-year-old to honour the call-up.

Patosi was drafted into the Bafana set-up by coach Gordon Igesund for the final warm-up match before he names his squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on December 30.

It is a first call-up for the attacking midfielder, who has been a revelation in Belgium this season, but with Lokeren due to play Darren Keet’s Kortrijk on December 21, he may not be able to honour it.

Fifa rules state that teams are only obliged to release players for major continental tournaments two weeks prior to the start – in this case January 5.

And with the Malawi game falling outside the Fifa match calendar, Lokeren are within their rights to tell their key player he must turn out against Kortrijk.

Lokeren also take on Cercle Brugge in another league match on December 26 before they take a three-week break over the New Year.

It would seem unlikely that Igesund would bank on a player he has not seen in camp for the tournament, meaning he would be going out on a limb to select Patosi for the final Nations Cup squad.

But if he can find space for him in the selection, he might provide an ‘X-factor’ that the national team needs if they are to progress to the latter stages of the tournament.