NO AMOUNT of criticism will turn Bongani Zungu against his beloved Bafana Bafana!
Along with Keagan Dolly, France-based Zungu joined Stuart Baxter’s team in Tunis from Paris last night, ahead of South Africa’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifying decider against Libya in Sfax, Tunisia on Sunday (6pm).
The Bafana coach has received stinging criticism from the public after he included the pair in his 24-man squad, and inexperienced Kaizer Chiefs goalkeeper Bruce Bvuma.
Unlike Bvuma, though, Zungu and Dolly have just returned to full-time action, having recently recovered from respective long-term injuries.
But nothing could please Zungu more than to see South Africa qualify for the 2019 Afcon finals in Egypt in June.
“Criticism? Nah, it doesn’t bother me,” retorted Zungu.
“Look, the most important thing is to qualify for Afcon. Whether I’m playing or not, we have to qualify. So the people who say negative things about Keags (Dolly) and I have to see that.
“I’m very happy. I become very grateful whenever I get a call up.
“And to be called up for such an important match is an amazing feeling.”
Zungu last appeared for Bafana exactly a year ago in the Four Nations tourney against Angola.
But he could possibly earn his 25th national team cap – his sixth under Baxter – should he run out against the Mediterranean Knights.
Second-placed Bafana need only a draw against Libya to seal their spot in the finals.
“If the coach gives me a chance I’m going to put everything I have in that game in order for Bafana to qualify,” Zungu said buoyantly.
Bafana landed in Tunis from Frankfurt yesterday.
They are expected to spend four days in the Tunisian capital, before they can travel to Sfax by bus on their training-free day, possibly on Friday.
The rest of the overseas-based players – Percy Tau, Lars Veldwijk and Thulani Serero – were also expected in camp by last night.
The Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates players are also arriving from Morocco and Guinea Conakry, where the teams played their respective Caf Champions League matches.