Just a few days after Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos had made some strong remarks about the lack of quality in South African footballers and the standard of the Premier Soccer League (PSL), the Belgian born coach has apologized to the nation.
Broos took everyone by surprise when he came down hard on the standard of the local game in general as he reflected on his first year as the national team coach.
Broos slates standard of PSL football
The impromptu press conference had in fact been arranged by the media team to allow the coach an opportunity to reflect back on the loss away to Morocco in Bafana’s opening 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Rabat.
But Broos fired some serious salvos…
His criticism of the PSL was not taken well across all levels and some local coaches, like Mamelodi Sundowns’ Steve Komphela, could not hold back on social media platforms. Addressing the SAFA leadership and its members during the extra-ordinary congress on Saturday, Broos delivered his unconditional apology.
“We have to make SA football better, we have to make it more professional – and I am just talking out of my experiences that I have.
I am European and in Europe things are different, than here in Africa. But I also have the African experience, I worked two years in Cameroon and when I compare this country with Cameroon – the potential is 10 times more,” Broos told the congress, where SABC Sport had been in attendance.
“And therefore, it’s a pity that SA is not by the best teams in Africa and I think this is something we have to achieve in the next years.”
The 70-year-old then showed remorse for his comments.
“I want to apologize if my declaration in the press conference last Tuesday was disrespectful against this nation. This was not my intention, certainly not.
I came here one year ago and the only thing I want is for SA football to become better.
I think we are on the right way, but there is still a lot of work to do.
I hope that this country will be with us to change some things, things that we have to change,” the coach explained.
Broos then vowed to help Bafana guide their ticket to Ivory Coast for the continental competition next year as well as the newly expanded World Cup to be hosted jointly by Canada, Mexico and the United States in 2026.
“I will do everything, and even more than everything to qualify the team in September for Afcon next year. And I will do everything to be at the 2026 World Cup.
I know the potential of this country…we can make it happen,” said Broos.
“But we need everybody in this country, not only me or SAFA – everybody who can help has to help us.
I am sure we can succeed and bring South Africa to be present at every Afcon and take them to the 2026 World Cup.”