Khune: I was sent to serve the nation
Posted: 13 November 2017 Time: 08:00
Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune says he felt a divine calling to serve the nation in the 2-0 loss to Senegal in Polokwane on Friday.
The Kaizer Chiefs man wore a protective mask in the defeat after suffering a facial fracture in his club's Telkom Knockout win over Chippa United on November 5 following a heavy collision with Kurt Lentjies.
Khune was applauded for putting the country first but was unable to help his team get the win they needed to keep alive their faint World Cup hopes.
Senegal booked their spot at the global showpiece as Group D winners, thereby reducing Tuesday's return match in Dakar to a dead rubber.
Khune says it was a simple decision to play with the injury at Peter Mokaba Stadium.
"Yeah, so having to play with the mask was a risk I had to take because I always put my country first," says Khune.
"I enjoy what I do, I love what I do. For me it was only a simple decision to make on the day of the match, even though it was a frustrating week ahead of the match. But on the day of the match, that's when I made the decision I will take part in the match and help the team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"But things didn't go well, but I was glad I managed to play and take all the risks because I think it was a calling from the Almighty. He sent me to this world for a purpose, to serve the people of the nation. It was all about me because when I woke up I just felt like I was never injured, even though I was still in pain, even though I was still bruised. But I just had to answer the call from God, who sent me to this camp to serve the people of South Africa. So it felt great to play in the mask even though people made fun of it, but for me I knew I was doing the right thing."