AFCON 2023: Hugo Broos Upset by Lyle Foster’s Decision Not to Play for South Africa

AFCON 2023: Hugo Broos Upset by Lyle Foster’s Decision Not to Play for South Africa

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at February 14, 2024 at 7:59 AM
In this article:
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  • Burnley striker, Lyle Foster, skipped the 2023 AFCON
  • The South African international had asked to be left out
  • Hugo Broos is still asking for answers about Foster's choice

The major talking point that dominated South Africa's preparation for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations was the absence of star striker, Lyle Foster.

Bafana Bafana coach, Hugo Broos, remains unhappy with Foster, who continued to play for his club, Burnley, after turning his country down.

Lyle Foster, South Africa, AFCON, Hugo Broos, Ronwen Williams
Burnley star, Lyle Foster, could have been useful for South Africa at the 2023 AFCON. Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus.
Source: Getty Images

South Africa produced a memorable performance at the tournament. They reached the semi-final but narrowly lost to Nigeria on penalties.

They registered some huge results, including eliminating favourites, Morocco, and dark horses, Cape Verde.

Foster was included in the 50-man provisional squad, but there were rumours he wouldn't make the final squad. True enough - when Broos named his squad in December, the Burnley striker was absent.

The Belgian said Foster was missing because of a medical issue.

"It was impossible for Lyle to be selected for AFCON; I repeat it was impossible. It was a medical decision," Broos said at the time via iDiski Times.

Foster missed seven games between October and November 2023 due to a personal matter.

Broos angry with Foster

The Bafana Bafana manager recently said he is angry that Foster wasn't available to play for South Africa at AFCON.

"Honestly, I am not happy, I knew from the beginning what the problems were," Broos said via Times Live. "I knew and I was understanding [of the situation] because I spoke a few times with Burnley coach, Vincent Kompany."

Broos added that he needs more clarity about why Foster couldn't join them in Ivory Coast.

"He starts playing for his club and he plays every game for 90 minutes. I am asking myself why it wasn't possible for him to come with us to Ivory Coast. This is my frustration, but I will not blame anyone. I am frustrated when I see him play because we could have used him at Afcon."

South Africa struggled to score after beating Morocco in the Round of 16.

They only scored once, a penalty from Teboho Mokoena in the semi-final against Nigeria. If Foster was available, they probably could've reached the final, instead of a bronze finish.

South Africa's best players at AFCON

Sports Brief also previously reported on Bafana's top 5 players at AFCON 2023.

Goalkeeper and captain, Ronwen Williams, was by far South Africa's best player.

Khuliso Mudau and Teboho Mokoena also put forward consistent performances.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.