Hugo Broos Defends Bafana Bafana AFCON Team Selection Amid Continued Criticism

Hugo Broos Defends Bafana Bafana AFCON Team Selection Amid Continued Criticism

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at January 3, 2024 at 6:57 AM
In this article:
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
  • Hugo Broos has stated he has picked the best options he has had available to him
  • The Belgian has faced scrutiny over the selection of players like Evidence Makgopa
  • Broos led Cameroon to the AFCON title in 2017 without a number of their big stars

The South African football community is a fickle beast. Seldom is a team announced for a major occasion without cries from all corners debating those in and out of the squad.

The central talking point around South Africa's AFCON 2023 team is the perceived lack of goal-scoring threat and those tasked with bagging the goals for Bafana Bafana.

Hugo Broos, South Africa, Bafana Bafana, AFCON 2023, Cameroon 2017.
Bafana Bafana coach, Hugo Broos has defended his AFCON squad selections and stated he went with players he could trust. Photo: iDiskiTimes.
Source: Twitter

First-choice forwards, Lyle Foster and Lebo Mothiba will not be going to Ivory Coast. Foster requested to be omitted for personal reasons and Mothiba broke a bone in his knee.

This has left the Orlando Pirates duo of Zakhele Lepasa and Evidence Makgopa as the recognised centre-forwards.

Accepting he had a difficult decision to make, the Belgian stated the pair were familiar with the Bafana Bafana setup and had performed adequately when required.

As reported by iDiskiTimes, Broos explained:

"Give me a South African player who is the same type as Mothiba. I don’t think you can give it. It’s a choice again and those guys were with us before. They have quality and I think it’s normal that we choose them to go with us to AFCON."

In 2017, the 71-year-old faced a far more severe player shortage when several of Cameroon's stars opted out of their squad for that edition of AFCON.

Then, a total of eight European-based players chose their clubs over their country. Africa News reported how Eric Choupo-Moting, Joel Matip, Andre Onana, and Andre Anguissa were among the notable absentees.

Despite this, the Indomitable Lions clinched the continental title by beating Egypt 2-1.

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Hugo Broos announces AFCON squad

Sports Brief recently reported on Broos' selection of 23 South Africans to challenge for the AFCON title.

Broos made his announcement from Belgium, where he had returned for the festive season to see family.

The Bafana Bafana squad will arrive in Cape Town on January 5 before flying to Ivory Coast on January 10.

Jarryd Westerdale photo
Jarryd Westerdale
Jarryd Westerdale (based in Johannesburg) joined Sports Brief after four years in the community journalism sphere. He is a two-time Alet Roux Award winner and was a finalist in multiple categories at the Forum of Community Journalism Excellence Awards.
Hugo Broos