There was no game time for three Flames key players as the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) started at the weekend.
Defender Limbikani Mzava (Bloemfontein Celtic) and strikers Atusaye Nyondo (SuperSport United) and Robin Ngalande (Bidvest Wits) were all not featured as their teams started the 2012/13 PSL season.
Only defender Harry Nyirenda featured for Black Leopards as they beat Celtic 3-2 on Saturday whereas Robert Ngâ€™ambiâ€™s Platinum Stars were taking on Moroka Swallows as we went to press.
Flames coach Kinnah Phiri described the development as unfortunate in the countdown to next monthâ€™s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final round qualification first leg against Ghanaâ€™s Black Stars.
â€œIt is indeed worrisome that our boys continue to be reduced to the sidelines especially in the countdown to the Ghana game,â€ said Kinnah.
According to Escom United chairperson Fanuel Nkhono, Mzava is yet to be cleared as Celtic have not yet paid the playerâ€™s R176 000 (about K6.3 million) transfer-fee balance.
â€œDespite giving an assurance, Celtic are yet to wire the money and we are still waiting,â€ said Nkhono.
Nyondo was also not in action as SuperSport held Ajax Cape Town to a 1-all draw and Ngalandeâ€”who has just signed for Wits from Spanish side Atletico Madrid youth sideâ€” could also not get a run as the students went down 2-0 to Free State Stars.