Johannesburg - Santos striker Eleazar Rodgers has been withdrawn from the Bafana Bafana squad to face Gabon in an international friendly match on Friday.
The match will be played at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit. Kickoff is at 8.30pm.
Rodgers has been requested by his club to return to help them in the National First Division play-offs, which were earlier suspended, but would resume on Wednesday, June 20 in Cape Town.
Santos will face Chippa United.
“I think I am missing out on a wonderful opportunity to play for my country, but then again my club also needs me. It's a kind of situation no player wants to find himself in, but like I have been saying, everything happens for a reason. I just hope I get another chance to play for Bafana Bafana and show what I can give to the nation.
“It's really sad, but I have to take it the way it is. I also want to wish Bafana Bafana the best of luck against Gabon. Hope they do really well.
Caretaker coach Steve Komphela said: “This is out of my hands, but if you ask me I would have loved for the boy to stay and play for his country. We had worked so much with him at training and just on the eve of the match we get news that he has to return to his club.
“It's a sad situation for the player and for the team, but we have to soldier on and find an alternative approach to the match.”
After two draws in the World Cup qualifiers, South Africa now face a Gabon side ranked 49th in the world. Bafana Bafana are ranked 69.
“We are optimistic that we will do well. Whoever starts knows what they must do and what is expected of them. The team has been formulated and we need the confidence and the inspiration not only for ourselves, but also for the nation,” Komphela said. - Sapa