02 September 2021 – When the South African Football Association (SAFA) calls Luther Singh stands at attention. That is how seriously he takes a call up, pointing to the SAFA badge on his track suit top.
Singh touched down in South Africa on Tuesday morning and was the last player to report for duty. “I wished I could’ve come earlier but my team FC Copenhagen was playing, so I could only be released after that game. I’m happy to be here now,” Singh smiles.
Covid-19 in Denmark as Singh describes where cases are fewer compared to South Africa. But he goes on to explain that most countries need a Covid negative test upon arrival and departure. “That really is a small price to pay to play at the highest level for my country. The association has done so much for the game that a Covid test seems trivial, I’m sad however for two of the players we’ve left behind (Thibang Phete and Thabiso Kutumela). The feeling of joining a camp and playing for my country never gets old.”
Tuesday afternoon was the first time that Singh trained with the team in what was an intense session under the watchful eye of Coach Hugo Broos and his assistants at Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto.
“Where ever I’m needed I’ll heed the call. It’s not about my contribution only it is about what can we do collectively, how will we work together for the ultimate dream – and that is to see Bafana Bafana go all the way to the Fifa World Cup 2022,” Singh said.
He admits that hitting the high notes is not his strong point and the only time you’ll really catch the right winger singing is when he is in national team colours, on the pitch about to start for Bafana Bafana. “It’s Goosebumps every time I’m there singing, reflecting on where I am and what I’m going to contribute on that given game day.”
Being away from home for the past seven years one could say that Singh now prefers Danish pastries over pap and vleis… But it’s quite the opposite actually.
He says there is nothing like local football, seven colours on a Sunday and him singh-ing on game day.