Seasoned midfielder Robert Ng’ambi has said he will honour Flames’ call-up for next month’s back-to-back 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers against Guinea’s Syli Nationale.
Ng’ambi has never played for the Flames since Ernest Mtawali took over as coach in August last year amid reports of a fallout between the two emanating from the former’s decision to relegate Ng’ambi to the bench during the away Afcon qualifier against Swaziland’s Sihlangu Semnikati.
“I think the issue has been exaggerated to a certain extent. There has never been a fallout between the coach and myself.
“I only spoke out my views as a senior player, but it does not mean that there is bad blood between us,” said Ng’ambi from his Runsternburg base in South Africa on Sunday.
He also claimed that he is in constant touch with Mtawali.
“We speak on a regular basis and when he came here [in South Africa], we had a good chat. So, the issue should not be blown out of proportion.”
After the Swaziland game, Ng’ambi did not honour the call-up for the subsequent 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Tanzania’s Taifa Stars, claiming that he was injured.
“I know some people think I did not show up because I had a grudge against the coach, but that was not true. I have always been committed to national duty whenever I am fit,” said Ng’ambi who has scored four goals for his South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) club Platinum Stars this season.
Mtawali reiterated that Ng’ambi remains a key member of the Flames squad.
“His experience, commitment and form are vital for the team and I have no reason to doubt about his availability.
“As I said, I have no problems with Robert and I have never dropped him,” he said.
Ng’ambi is one of the 12 foreign-based players who Mtawali has called up for the Guinea matches.n