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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

I’m not sure why Ntseki included Khune in Bafana Bafana squad - Igesund

11:04 PM GMT+8 12/03/2020
Itumeleng Khune Bafana Bafana v Libya, September 2018
The national team tactician has been backed by the former Mamelodi Sundowns coach

Legendary South African tactician Gordon Igesund has urged the nation to rally behind Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki, who announced his squad to face Sao Tome and Principe in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers later this month.

Although many have questioned the inclusion of goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune, ‘GI’ has opted to look at the Kaizer Chiefs’ goalkeeper’s qualities, but also fails to understand why he is part of the team since he is serving as Amakhosi's second-choice keeper.

On the other hand, Igesund also believes Ntseki is the one to give more reasons on why he selected Maritzburg United’s Thabiso Kutumela and left out in-form striker Bonginkosi Ntuli of AmaZulu.

“It’s very difficult to comment on the squad because some of the players have not been playing and some have been away from the team for a long, long time, but he is the right one to give us the reasons,” Igesund told Goal.

“I’m not sure about some of the selections, but I can tell you this is a balanced squad. It’s a crucial game for the team and we need to support him because he knows why he made some of the call-ups.

“Maybe he has been looking at the players for the past four weeks. He’s a new coach, we need to support him because we don’t know his criteria and his expectations," he explained.

“It’s qualifying games and there’s no doubt about the quality in the team. There are some nice selections, but it’s not fair to single out players on why they are there.”

On Khune and Kutumela inclusions as well as Ntuli’s exclusion, the former Orlando Pirates coach has praised Khune whilst admitting that the national team coaching job is not easy.

"Look, there's no doubt about Khune’s ability and leadership qualities, he was my captain but there’s one question on his inclusion. How many games has he played for Chiefs?” added the experienced coach.

“I don’t know the reasoning behind Khune’s inclusion. I think he played two games for Chiefs this year, whether that’s enough to warrant a national team call-up for a qualifying game is another question.

“I think he’s been out for some time, I don’t know if he has been training with Bafana. The team is slowly changing and also a player like Ntuli shouldn’t be overlooked just because his team is at the bottom of the log.

“Sometimes we agree and disagree with the coaches’ decisions based on his selections but we need to support him. I’m not criticizing him but just making a statement on why Khune is part of the team. Only time will tell if the coach has made the right calls or not.

“It’s a tough job and decision to make for the coach and I am just expressing my humble opinion. I love Khune, he’s one of the best on the continent. His ball distribution is exceptional and it’s not his fault to get injured.

“I think Kutumela has been doing well, I’m sure the coach has been following him and there’s no doubt about the quality in the squad. Obviously he will know better than us on what kind of strategy he wants to employ and which players he can use to implement it.”