Southampton Midfielder Chauke Chooses Bafana Bafana Over England | diskidaily.co.zaSouthampton Midfielder Chauke Chooses Bafana Bafana Over England

Southampton Midfielder Chauke Chooses Bafana Bafana Over England

South African Football Association (SAFA) has reportedly won the battle against the English Football Association (FA) for Southampton FC starlet Kegs Chauke.

The 20-year-old midfielder, who holds dual citizenship in South Africa and England, has joined SA’s under-23 camp and is set to make his international debut for his country of birth.

Chauke has been on the radar of the English FA, having been called up to the country’s Under-18 national training camp in 2020. There were doubts about whether he would honor his call-up to the SA U23 national team after he failed to arrive in camp on Sunday due to flight delays. However, Safa has now confirmed his arrival ahead of SA’s two matches against Congo-Brazzaville in the 2023 U23 Afcon qualifiers.

Chauke, who is currently on loan at English third-tier side Exeter City, is likely to feature for coach David Notoane’s side against Congo. According to FIFA rules, a player is allowed to change nationality as long as they have only featured in three international fixtures, including qualifiers.

Exeter City sign Kegs Chauke from Southampton on season-long loan - Devon  Live

However, this excludes tournaments like the World Cup, and the player must have been less than 21 years of age at the time of playing and can only switch after three years of no international activity.

Chauke’s eligibility for England remains intact, but his decision to commit to South Africa will bolster the U23 team’s chances of qualifying for the U23 Afcon finals scheduled to be hosted by Morocco in June.

Chauke and his SA U23 teammates will face Congo in the first-leg encounter at Dobsonville on Thursday before traveling to Congo for the second-leg clash scheduled for Monday at Massamba-Debat Stadium. The winner on aggregate will qualify for the U23 Afcon finals.

The promising player’s decision to represent South Africa could help the team’s chances of qualifying for the tournament, and it could also provide a boost to SA football as a whole.

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