Sundowns defender Rivaldo Coetzee's Afcon snub disappoints Roger De Sa

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CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
The former Urban Warriors coach has shared his thoughts on the defender's exclusion from the Bafana squad heading to Egypt

Former Ajax Cape Town coach Roger De Sa has revealed his shock as defender Rivaldo Coetzee missed out on an opportunity to play for Bafana Bafana at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.

Although he is not fully aware of all the details, De Sa says there should be something serious happening in the defender’s life because he is an ambitious young man and would not let such an opportunity pass him.

“Look, I only read in the media about it and I am not too sure of the details. He’s a young boy from Kakamas which is a small town in the Northern Cape and he has been away from family because of football,” De Sa told Goal.

“I think he left the town when he was 15 or 16 and he has always been an ambitious young boy. I remember when I coached Ajax, he was determined and was one of the talented players there."

Media reports which surfaced earlier this week stated that the defender had allegedly gone AWOL after being given permission to tend to his ailing mother back home.

According to coach Stuart Baxter, the 22-year-old failed to communicate with the technical team his whereabouts and was unreachable.

Subsequent to the player’s absence, the British-born mentor announced his 23-man squad on Sunday and excluded the versatile player.

“I am quite surprised just like you because he is a very talented boy and I was hoping he will get a chance and play at Afcon, but I believe and hope for a speedy recovery for his mom,” continued De Sa.

“I saw a motivated young boy a week after arriving at Ajax and I really believe there is something that has forced him to go back home for sure. I hope his mother will recover quickly."

Moreover, the Cape Umoya United boss expressed his belief that the centre-back will bounce back to his best despite missing the biennial tournament set to be staged in Egypt this month.

“I am confident because age is still on his side and after playing very well for Sundowns in two roles, I was impressed and I am happy he is coming back to his best,” added the former Orlando Pirates coach.

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“It’s really disappointing to see he is not part of the squad, but I believe there is something that is happening and we only have to wish his mother a speedy recovery until everything is cleared. I am confident he will bounce back to his best because he has a bright future ahead of him."

South Africa have been drawn into Group D at the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.

Bafana will begin their Afcon campaign against Ivory Coast in Cairo, before meeting Namibia and Morocco as they look to reach the knockout stages.

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