Bafana Bafana star midfielder Bongani Zungu has been dragged into another controversy abroad but this time, the 28-year-old has not done anything wrong.
Zungu, who made the headlines in February after he was banned for breaching the Covid-19 protocols while on loan at Rangers in Scotland, is expected to give evidence – via a video conference call – in a racial abuse case that is set to go before the Uefa appeals committee on Wednesday.
This stems from the ill-tempered last 16 Europa League clash between Rangers and Czech Republic side Slavia Prague in Scotland in March.
During that explosive match, Prague defender Ondrej Kúdela is alleged to have branded Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara a “f***ing monkey”, a racial slur that copped the Czech a 10-match ban by Uefa after being found guilty of abusing Zungu’s team-mate.
News outlets in Scotland and the UK have reported that Kúdela’s lawyers have dragged Zungu into the controversy to testify because they claim his original statement contradicts what Kamara said.
Kúdela is desperate to be cleared to make the Czech Republic squad for the European Championship that kicks off next month.
“We suggested hearing several witnesses and experts for the oral hearing next week. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the matter in a broader context than the written submissions,” Kúdela’s lawyer René Cienciala, was quoting as saying by The Sun and Evening Glasgow Times.
Cienciala and his team believe that Zungu’s original statement contradicts Kamara’s claims.
Prague’s African players, Senegalese striker Abdallah Sima and Ivory Coast winger Simon Deli are expected to give evidence.
Kamara, who was born in Finland, is of Sierra Leonean descent.
Meanwhile, Zungu and his Rangers team-mates who were handed a six-match for the Covid-19 breach, had their appeals dismissed last month.
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Zungu has since returned to his parent club Amiens SC in France after he helped Rangers to their first Scottish Premiership title since 2011.
The title was the first major trophy for the player from Duduza township in Ekurhuleni since he left Mamelodi Sundowns for his stint overseas in Portugal in 2016.