JOHANNESBURG, November 13 – Bafana Bafana number one goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune says he always puts his country first after playing in a facial mask for South Africa’s World Cup qualifier against Senegal over the weekend.
“Having to play with the mask on was a risk I had to take because I always put my country first,” said Khune.
After sustaining a facial injury during the Telkom Knockout match against Chippa United five days prior to the crucial qualifier at Peter Mokaba Stadium, Khune took the risk of playing with a fractured bone in his face.
The medical team put Khune through an intensive rehabilitation process during the week in camp and the goalkeeper responded well and was named captain on the day.
“I enjoy what I do, and for me it was a simple decision to make, though it was a frustrating week ahead of the match.
“But on the day of the match it is when I made the biggest call, because I really wanted the country to qualify for Russia – though the result didn’t go the way we all wanted,” said Khune.
“I am happy I played and took the risk, this is a calling from God that I should help the nation. I had to answer the call of South Africans, and had to play in a mask though some people made fun out of it,” he laughed.