Absa Premier Soccer League players called for national duties

Kennedy Mweene
Zambia goalkeeper Mweene

Premier Soccer League players from neighbouring countries have been called up for internationals next Wednesday as African countries start to prepare their sides for the African Nations Cup qualifiers later in the year.

Absa Premiership internationals from Burundi, Niger, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia have already been called up and national team members from Botswana and Namibia are expecting to also hear of their selection for matches on March 5.

Mozambique have called up Dominquez (Elias Pelembe), Helder Pelembe and Telinho for their friendly against Angola in Maputo next Wednesday.

The first two went up against each other on Tuesday when Pirates beat Mamelodi Sudowns at Loftus Versfeld. Telinho is from Ajax Cape Town.

Kennedy Mweene, Davies Nkausu and Joseph Musonda are in the Zambia squad for their home friendly against Uganda in Ndola but Collins Mbesuma’s inactivity at Pirates has cost him his place in new coach Patrice Beaumelle’s 23-man squad.

Opponents Uganda have picked Geoffrey Massa from the University of Pretoria and Dennis Onyango from Bidvest Wits.

Wits will also see central defender Koffi Dankwa, who was suspended for their last two games, head off to play for Niger against Mauritania while Papy Faty heads home to Burundi for their clash with neighbours Rwanda.

Botswana’s newly appointed coach Peter Butler debuts in a friendly match against South Sudan at the National Stadium in Gaborone, but is still to name his squad.

Namibia are also due to announce their selection for a friendly against Tanzania in Windhoek.

Ghana have dropped all four of their South African-based based players for their friendly against Montengero with the worst fears of Pirates goalkeeper Fatau Dauda’s being realised.

Dauda had been warned his inability to take over as No 1 at the Buccaneers could cost him his place in the Black Stars’ squad as they prepare to go to Brazil later this year.

There is also no place for Rashid Sumaila of Mamelodi Sundowns; Edward Gyimah of SuperSport United and Mohamed Awal of Maritzburg United, all of whom were in the last Black Stars squad when they played in Egypt in November to clinch their World Cup place.

It leaves in jeopardy the chance of a World Cup trip for the PSL players and the representation of the South African league in Brazil because Nigeria have also dropped James Okwuosa of Chippa United for their friendly against Mexico in Atlanta.