THE country versus country dilemma has raised its ugly head YET again.

South  Africa Under-23 coach David Notoane had a wish to leave the country this week to Egypt where they will be participating in the U-23 Africa Cup of nations in Egypt from next Friday. 

But with the tournament starting on 8 November, Notoane is still struggling to get players from the PSL clubs to represent Mzansi in the tournament. 

The coach still has no idea when he will have his full squad but he remains positive that at least by next Wednesday, they will leave Mzansi for Egypt.

Talking to SunSport, the former Santos and Black Leopards mentor revealed that thus far only two clubs Mamelodi Sundowns and Swallows FC have agreed to release players as well as Portuguese side SC Braga.

“I am caught between a rock and a hard place,” Notoane stressed.

For the tournament, SA was pitted in a tough Group B against Zambia Nigeria and Ivory Coast. 

Notoane went on: “For a country which has a goal / vision of winning the tournament and qualify for the Olympic games next year in Japan this is terrible. For a country which have a vision 2022 but still faces this challenge of getting players for national team it is really bad.”

“Are we really pulling up together as the country?” Notoane quizzed

“If yes why all this drama? Why players are not being released?”

The Young Bafana are set to kick-off the tournament with a clash against neighbours Zambia on 9 November, followed by the defending champions Nigeria three days later Tuesday (12 November) and the last fixture in the group stages is against Ivory Coast on Friday, (15 November.)

The tournament will see the top three teams qualifying for 2020 Olympics men's football tournament where they will represent Africa in Japan next year.By the look of things Mzansi will not have any friendly match ahead of the tournament. 

Notoane stated: “Our first game on the same day as the league (Absa Premiership Soweto Derby) on 9 November. I am hoping next Wednesday (6 November) we will have the team and fly to Egypt, but there are PSL games on that Wednesday, we will see.”

“If we leave on that day at least we will have two, three days as a team which is something we are used to.”