Rangers star's international absence explained as Gers come in for unfair stick
Photo by Helios de la Rubia/Real Madrid via Getty Images

Rangers star's international absence explained as Gers come in for unfair stick

Zambian FA president Andrew Kamanga has explained why Rangers star Fashion Sakala isn’t involved with his national team during the current international break, confirming the striker opted to withdraw as he recovers from an injury.

Sakala in action for Zambia (Photo by Christopher Lee – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Despite the Rangers striker’s absence, Zambia were able to pick up a 2-1 win over Mauritania yesterday in the opening game of their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Sakala has struggled with injuries since his arrival at Rangers, with Gers boss Steven Gerrard admitting he’d thrown the former Oostende star into the side too soon after his arrival and felt he deserved some of the blame for Sakala’s absence.

Speaking ahead of yesterday’s game, Kamanga confirmed the reason behind Sakala being left in Scotland, admitting he had initially been named in the squad before the player asked to be excused from duty to work on his fitness.

His omission sparked something of a backlash in the African nation with Rangers and manager Beston Chambeshi painted as the villains of the price before Kamanaga put an end to finger-pointing.

“When we sent the request for his release, the club (Rangers) released Fashion but he decided that he wasn’t fit enough and he has asked to be excused because he believes he cannot contribute at 100 percent because he is still recovering from an injury,” Kamanga said.

The striker has made four appearances for Rangers so far (Photo by Christopher Lee – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The Zambian was a late substitute last weekend in Rangers’ 1-0 Old Firm win over bitter rivals Celtic at Ibrox but it makes sense that he remained in Scotland rather than travelling to Africa for international duty.

With Zambia’s next game not coming until November, Sakala will have plenty of time to prove his fitness and find form for Rangers before he needs to worry about his place in the international set up.

Meanwhile, a key Rangers star has been talking about his future at Ibrox amid £15m links out of the club this summer.


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