There is a three-way battle for qualification from Group C as Ghana host Sao Tome e Principe and SA face Sudan in the final round of fixtures
Bafana Bafana will be without inspirational attacking midfielder Bongani Zungu for their final Afcon qualifying game against Sudan on Sunday evening at the Al-Hilal Stadium.
Zungu had been expected to join up with the rest of the Bafana squad after their match against Ghana in Johannesburg, a game which ended 1-1.
His Scottish club Rangers did not want the player to travel to his home country due to concerns about the South African variant of the coronavirus.
However, it’s now emerged that Zungu has also been denied the chance to play in Sudan as he would have to travel through what his club perceives as Covid-19 ‘hot-spots’ to arrive at the match venue in Omdurman.
“The negotiations have been going on but on Wednesday we got a letter from Rangers stating that they won’t be releasing him,” Bafana Bafana head coach Ntseki was quoted saying by the Daily Sun.
“I spoke to him and he explained his situation. He believes it’s a decision that would work against him if he were to force to come to Sudan with the team.
“Again, we saw a new list of countries that have been declared red zones. There’s Dubai and Ethiopia on that list. Our players need to go through Ethiopia or Dubai to get to Sudan.”
South Africa are already without a number of their best attacking options including Keagan Dolly, Thulani Serero, Bradley Grobler and Kermit Erasmus.
Bafana Bafana beat Sudan 1-0 in the home leg of their Afcon qualifying campaign, thanks to a Lebogang Phiri goal.
The 28-year-old Zungu made his Bafana Bafana debut in 2013 under Gordon Igesund. He has 29 caps to his credit and has scored five times for the national team.
The former AmaTuks and Mamelodi Sundowns playmaker has taken part in 19 matches for Rangers this season although he’s largely been used as a substitute.
Rangers have already won the league in Scotland, while last week, they crashed out of the Europa League at the Round of 16, losing 3-1 on aggregate to Slavia Prague.
Heading into Sunday’s action, Ghana and South Africa are on 10 points, Sudan nine and Sao Tome e Principe on zero.
A draw for South Africa would be enough to qualify for Cameroon.