'South Africa Must Rally Around Lyle Foster' Says Showmax's Premier League Ambassador

'South Africa Must Rally Around Lyle Foster' Says Showmax's Premier League Ambassador

Jarryd Westerdale
updated at March 6, 2024 at 6:55 AM
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  • Robert Marawa is the new face of Showmax's Premier League product
  • He advised the nation to throw their support behind striker, Lyle Foster
  • The Burnley star missed the 2023 AFCON after opting not to participate

South Africa's premier footballing talent should be a source of pride and not derision.

This is the opinion of the nation's favourite sports talk show host, Robert Marawa, who has close knowledge of the embattled striker's situation.

The popular football analyst has been made the ambassador for Showmax's new Premier League offering and shared his expert insights on a league that is seared into his footballing consciousness.

Lyle Foster, Burnley, Robert Marawa, mental health, Sports Brief, exclusive, Premier League, showmax
Robert Marawa spoke to Sports Brief about Lyle Foster's situation and the need to support the Burnley forward.
Source: Original

Lyle Foster is the only South African currently plying their trade in the Premier League and was widely expected to play a part in Bafana Bafana's AFCON quest.

This did not materialise, as his much publicised struggle with his mental health issues put that on shaky ice.

At the instructions of doctors and the club, Foster missed the AFCON and also drew the ire of fans back home after running out for his club.

Speaking to Sports Brief about the Premier League and his new ambassadorial role, Marawa was asked about Foster's situation.

He recalled how the Burnley star had previously spoken about his problems, allowing Marawa a look at what the player was facing. He explained:

"...That showed there lies something serious, something we take for granted. Giving him a platform to open up about it, opened my eyes to what he is suffering, but he has a very strong family support system."

Social media can be a cruel place, with the intensity amplified but the high-level of scrutinty given to Premier League players. Marawa urged more humanity from critics, saying:

"We need to support Lyle Foster. He is ours; he is a young kid. To see poeple mock him and call him unpatriotic, it was sad to wtach, it was unfortunate. But I don't think Lyle is about that, I think he will get past it and I am thankful that his club has given him the support."

Although a lover of sport, Marawa was philosophical about the important things in life:

"It makes no sense for people to say, 'How can you say no to your national team?' You can because your life comes before anything else. We will have Lyle Foster as a Bafana Bafana superstar, I have no doubt about that."

Lyle Foster shining for Burnley during AFCON

Sports Brief earlier reported on Lyle Foster's performances for Burnley FC in early February.

The striker was on the scoresheet in Burnley's 2-3 loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League.

Hugo Broos questioned how he could turn out for his club yet be unavailable for his country.

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.