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Football | Bafana Bafana

Dean Furman © Backpagepix

No ill-feelings between Oldham and Bafana



No agreement was reached between Oldham Athletic and Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund to release midfielder Dean Furman in time for South Africa's training camp, according to Gordon Lawton, the spokesman for the English club.

The Bafana squad assembled in Cape Town on Wednesday ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament which starts on January 19.

Oldham, meanwhile, take on Nottingham Forest in an FA Cup third-round tie on Saturday, with Furman due to depart for Cape Town immediately after the match.

"All that we know is that after Oldham Athletic's game on Saturday, Dean will be making a dash to the airport to catch his flight to South Africa," Lawton said on Friday.

"As far as we understand, there was no such agreement. The agreement was always that Dean would be available to play against Nottingham Forest."

Furman is the only member of Igesund's 23-man Afcon squad who has yet to arrive for camp.

Igesund told the Sowetan newspaper he was disappointed that Oldham had fallen back on their word to release Furman.

"I am very disappointed with the fact that Dean is not here," Igesund reportedly said.

"I made an agreement with the club when I flew over there last year and now because they are playing Nottingham Forest this weekend, the chairman has overturned the decision."

Furman is doubtful for Bafana's friendly international against Norway in Cape Town on Tuesday, as he is not expected to recover in time following Oldham's cup tie and his cross-continental trip.

Lawton was unaware of any ill-feelings between Igesund and the club, and he insisted that Furman would have been made available, had Igesund requested the move.

"We are very short of players at this time and if we lost Dean as well we would have had no midfield whatsoever," Lawton said.

"If Gordon had insisted, we would have released the player.

"A compromise was reached between the club, Dean Furman and South Africa and there is no animosity between the camps."

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