Bafana coach Stuart Baxter had the difficult task of trimming his Afcon squad by three, which would have bitter pill to swallow for those who missed out on plane tickets to Egypt.
The Brit had named an original squad of 30, but passport issues, injury and poor communication saw 26 players involved in a training camp assembled at Steyn City over the past week.
Out of the 26, three unlucky players were did not make the final cut, with Cape Town City striker Kermit Erasmus missing out alongside Orlando Pirates midfielder Ben Motshwari and Maritzburg United’s Fortune Makaringe.
Baxter explains Afcon snubs
With the final 23 set to continue the preparations with a trip to the UAE, where they play Ghana in a friendly match, Baxter explained the thinking behind his squad selection, revealing that the unlucky trio were always aware they stood an outside chance of being selected.
I told the players when we selected the squad of 27 players whether or not they are at the Afcon, I hope they see it as a massive boost to their careers,” Baxter continued.
“I told Kermit that I think he just really got his career back on track at Cape Town City, and I wanted to tell him he is doing well by inviting him to the squad.
“Until the last day he has been in with a good chance, I just think I have cover in those positions, and I had to pick players who can cover at centre back. That tilted the scales a bit.”
Bafana meet Ghana on Saturday, 15 June before playing Angola on a yet to be determined date in Egypt ahead of their opening match against the Ivory Coast in Cairo on 24 June.