Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
GOLDEN Arrows defender Devine Lunga put up a man of the match performance for his club in the midst of controversy surrounding his national team snub.
Arrows played to a 1-1 draw against Moroka Swallows in a DStv Premiership encounter on Saturday.
The left-back was named man of the match after an impressive outing in the encounter.
The defender has been making local headlines for the wrong reasons as it is alleged that he snubbed a national team call-up.
Lunga is reported to be one of the players Warriors coach Zdravko Logarusic has blacklisted from the national team for allegedly showing no interest in representing the country.
It is alleged that on March 19, Lunga wrote to the Warriors’ technical staff excusing himself from the two matches against Botswana and Zambia, claiming that he was injured and needed at least two weeks to recover.
But just a day later, he played a full match for his South African league side Golden Arrows against Cape Town City.
“What I am looking for in a player is character, commitment and then talent. If a player thinks that he can pick and choose games that he wants to play, no, he will not.
We have players like Knowledge Musona and Victor Kamhuka, who travelled thousands of miles to come for national duty, but some players in South Africa refused to come because they don’t have the country at heart. Also we have some players who are in Europe who ignored our calls when we needed them, but now that we have qualified, they are calling me. I have blocked them,” said Logarusic.
“I don’t do like other coaches who just look at how good a player is. For me, I consider a player’s character first, the personality, that is, if you love your country and then the rest. If you don’t love your country why should I select you?”
However, national team manager Wellington Mpandare has refuted reports that Lunga has been banished from the national team, saying the player missed the recent Afcon qualifiers against Botswana and Zambia owing to injury.
If indeed he is one of the blacklisted players, his form going forward will certainly determine his future in the Warriors set-up.