Rodgers downcast over withdrawal
Rodgers was withdrawn from the squad by his club, who are still involved in the PSL Playoff Tournament and are fighting for their top-flight survival.
Their next match is against Chippa United in Cape Town on Wednesday.
“I think I am missing out on a wonderful opportunity to play for my country, but then again my club also needs me,” Rodgers said.
“It’s a kind of situation no player wants to find himself in, but like I have been saying everything happens for a reason. I just hope I get another chance to play for Bafana Bafana and show what I can give to the nation. It’s really sad but I have to take it the way it is. I also want to wish Bafana Bafana the best of luck against Gabon, hope they do really well.”
Rodgers does already have two caps for his country, gained some four years ago in the COSAFA Castle Cup.
Caretaker coach Steve Komphela was also disappointed by the outcome, as he had spoken during the week of using Rodgers in the game against Gabon.
“This is out of my hands, but if you ask me I would have loved for the boy to stay and play for his country,” he said. “We had worked so much with him at training and just on the eve of the match we get news that he has to return to his club. It’s a sad situation for the player and for the team, but we have to soldier on and find an alternative approach to the match.”
After two draws in the World Cup qualifiers, South Africa now faces a Gabon side that is ranked 49th in the world compared to Bafana Bafana’s 69th.
“We are optimistic that we will do well, whoever starts knows what they must do and what is expected of them. The team has been formulated and we need the confidence and the inspiration not only for ourselves but also for the nation. It is bad when South Africans get into the mode of saying ‘I hope we win’ but we need to say a win is guaranteed irrespective of where Gabon is placed on the rankings,” said Komphela.