PSL Champions Mamelodi Sundowns are set to miss a host of first-team players for their upcoming cup tie on Wednesday.
Mamelodi Sundowns are scheduled to face TS Galaxy in the Carling Knockout opening round of 16; with the latest development, they will be without any of their seven players currently in the Bafana Bafana camp.
South Africa's men's national team, Bafana Bafana, are currently in camp for their second engagement of the current FIFA international window. The side drew goalless with Eswatini on Friday at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.
Full time – it ends 0-0 at FNB Stadium
Between Bafana Bafana and Eswatini
— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) October 13, 2023
Goalkeeper Ronwen Williams, defenders Mothobi Mvala, Grant Kekana, Aubrey Modiba, Khuliso Mudau, midfielder Teboho Mokoena, and captain Themba Zwane will miss the cup tie against Galaxy but should be available for the AFL game in Angola.
It is the second draw at home in their past three games as they continue to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations in Côte d'Ivoire.
Themba Zwane and a host of Mamelodi Sundowns players took part in that friendly and it is expected that they will also feature in the next friendly game against Côte d'Ivoire on Tuesday.
By virtue of this, these players will be missing in action when club action resumes on Wednesday.
The reason Mamelodi Sundowns will be without their key players
For several weeks it was uncertain whether Sundowns would feature in the AFL, with the PSL and its member clubs initially voting against the idea.
However, the Brazilians, who booked their place in this season’s CAF Champions League, finally got the go-ahead from the Premier Soccer League (PSL) to participate in the inaugural edition of the African Football League (AFL).
With the permission, Masandawana faces a fresh dilemma of fixture congestion after an emergency Board of Governors meeting between the 32 Premier Soccer League chairmen.
Rulani Mokwena's men will now need to navigate a congested fixture schedule to be able to play in the newly formed competition.
The PSL Champions will travel to Angola next weekend for the first leg of their meeting with Petro de Luanda.
According to SABC Sport, the players in the national team camp are expected to travel straight to Angola the next day to meet their teammates in the build-up to the first leg of their encounter with Petro on Saturday.
Why Mamelodi Sundowns v Galaxy will take place on Wednesday
It is already a packed schedule for Mamelodi Sundowns and they needed to reach an agreement with the clubs in order to sort it out a bit.
Therefore, Galaxy agreed to move their cup tie to an earlier date to allow the Brazilians a few days to recover and prepare for that continental assignment.
With that in mind, that is why the cup tie between the champions and Galaxy has been brought forward, while they get ample time to play in the AFL.
In a bid to sort out upcoming issues, the Brazilians have also engaged Moroka Swallows to discuss a potential new date for their upcoming match.
Meanwhile, the match-up with the Dube Birds will only be affected if Rulani Mokwena's men progress to the AFL semi-finals, which would affect their league match on 29 October.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago