Furman to make dash for SA
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana midfielder Dean Furman already has a taxi booked for Saturday night, as the player makes a dash from Nottingham to Heathrow Airport in London, according to Oldham Athletic's official website.
The Latics take on Nottingham Forest on Saturday evening in a FA Cup third round tie and Furman has been included in the team. The Oldham skipper needs to catch the 9pm flight to Cape Town to join up with South Africa as they prepare for the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament starting January 19.
Furman was included in Bafana coach Gordon Igesund's 23-man squad for the Afcon campaign, but Igesund has been left frustrated after Furman was not released by Oldham in time to make the training camp which assembled on Wednesday in Johannesburg.
Igesund had requested Furman be allowed to miss the match to report earlier than the 14-day release Fifa stipulate for major tournaments, but Oldham insisted he plays at Forest given the importance of the game.
Furman said he would have to have a quick shower after the clash and leave immediately in order to make his flight to South Africa.
He added that he understood Oldham's position at not wanting to release him for the Afcon campaign prior to his club's vital cup tie.
"It is an important time for clubs who pay the wages and it hurts them to have players missing at a key time in the season," Furman said.
"There have been high-profile cases... none more so than Yaya Toure as Manchester City maintained they nearly lost the Premier League title when he took part in the tournament last season.
"It is difficult to leave here for one month in any situation whether we are top or bottom of the table."
Furman admitted, however, that he could not refuse a call-up to his national side and was looking forward to linking up with Igesund's squad.
"When your country comes calling, you cannot turn them down," he said.
"It is such an honour to be called up for a major tournament on home soil and it is something I was unable to say no to.
"I am honoured and delighted to be involved."