French-based Bafana internationals Zungu and Phiri want to return home to SA

French-based Bafana Bafana internationals Bongani Zungu and Lebogang Phiri have reached out to the SA Football Association (Safa) to see if it can arrange a way home to South Africa for them now that the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season has been cancelled.

Strasbourg’s Ibrahima Sissoko in action with Guingamp’s South African forward Lebogang Phiri (R) during Coupe de La Ligue Final match in France in March 2019. Image: REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

Safa president Danny Jordaan revealed that he had a phone conversation on Saturday with Zungu – whose club‚ Amiens SC‚ have been relegated as a result of Ligue 1’s official cancellation due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.With international travel and South African borders shut down by the coronavirus pandemic‚ the player asked Safa to help find a way home for himself and Ligue 2-based midfielder Phiri.

“I phoned him. I spoke to him. In fact I spoke to him on Saturday again because he told me his team has now been relegated – he’s trying to get somewhere else‚ and he wants to come back to the country now‚” Jordaan said‚ asked if he had spoken to Zungu regarding some controversial recent statements the midfielder made about Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki.

“Both him and Lebogang Phiri. And [Zungu asked] that we should speak to the government to assist them to come home.

“Because of the lockdown and the fact that there are no international flights‚ it’s something that we will work on.”

Paris St Germain were declared champions of Ligue 1 when the league was officially called off on April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Amiens were in 19th place in the 20-team top-flight.

Phiri’s Guingamp‚ relegated from Ligue 1 at the end of last season‚ ended eighth in the abbreviated Ligue 2 in 2019-20.

Jordaan did not say whether Bafana’s Keagan Dolly‚ whose Montpellier finished eighth in Ligue 1; or Lebo Mothiba of Strasbourg‚ who placed 10th‚ have managed to find a way home‚ or decided to stay in France.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

BY MARC STRYDOM

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