May 14, 2021

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Dolly adds to Bafana Bafana woes as French clubs make decision on non-EU players

Former Mamelodi Sundowns star becomes last questionable player for Molefi Ntseki’s national team

Montpellier HSC midfielder Keagan Dolly is set to miss South Africa’s upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers following a decision by the French Professional League (LFP) not to not allow international players whose teams are not members of the European Union to report for work.

South Africa will host Ghana in their Group C match on March 25, before ending the qualifiers with a trip to Sudan for their final group game three days later.

Following reports that Brighton & Hove Albion and Rangers FC are reluctant to release Percy Tau and Bongani Zungu respectively for national duty, Dolly has become the last concern.

It was after the LFP’s unanimous decision that all players called up by non-European national teams should not leave France except in exceptional circumstances.

“At the initiative of the presidents of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, a consultation was conducted on Wednesday March 17 with all club presidents concerning players outside the France A team likely to participate in matches outside France, EU / EEA zone during the next international period in March, ”the LFP said in a statement.

“In the absence of exemption for foreign international players made available to their national team and in view of the response times imposed by international regulations, the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs have unanimously decided to apply the Fifa circular of February 5, 2021. taking into account the many travel restrictions in the world.

“In this context, the clubs will not make available for selection foreign players called up for matches outside the EU / EEA zone during the next international period in March.”

Dolly is the only France-based player called up by South African coach Molefi Ntseki who overlooked Lebogang Phiri who turns into Ligue 2 Guingamp, while Lebo Mothiba of Strasbourg returns from a long-lasting injury.

South Africa are currently second in Group C with nine points, the same as Ghana.

As Bafana Bafana worried about Dolly, Tau and Zungu’s availability, Ghana worried about Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey, Crystal Palace duo Jeffrey Schlupp and Swansea City forward Jordan Ayew Andre Ayew, Leicester City defender Daniel Amartey, Southampton center-back Mohammed Salisu and Reading, full-back Andy Yiadom, who may not be released by their clubs for international assignments.