JOHANNESBURG – The South African Football Association are reportedly appealing the red card Bongani Zungu received against Burkina Faso in a World Cup qualifier earlier in October.
The two-match ban that comes with a sending off would mean that Zungu would miss Bafana Bafana’s final two World Cup qualifying matches.
Both are against Senegal, and if South Africa can win both encounters, they should book their spot in Russia next year.
It’s a big ask, and Bafana’s case would certainly be helped if influential midfielder Zungu is cleared to play.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns man was sent off in the 3-1 win over the Burkinabe after a scuffle broke out between a large group of players from both teams.
Replays seemed to show, however, that Zungu was caught from behind by the elbow of Alain Traore.
And although he did rush in to retaliate against Traore, Zungu did not make clear contact with his lunging arm. “We believe we have a strong case as we have video evidence,” Safa chief executive Dennis Mumble said.
Traore could potentially face retrospective action if Fifa do decide Safa have a case.
Bafana Bafana head coach Stuart Baxter is already missing another midfielder, Andile Jali, through suspension, for the home tie with Senegal.
The Lions of Teranga, meanwhile, are hoping to rush Liverpool winger Sadio Mané back from a hamstring injury in time for the two qualifying games.
Said head coach Aliou Cisse: “In my mind, there’s no doubt he will be with us for the double header against South Africa, and that he will be 100 percent fit.”
African News Agency (ANA)