Percy Tau: Bafana Coach Hugo Broos Addresses Al Ahly Star’s Absence Ahead of FIFA Series Friendlies

Percy Tau: Bafana Coach Hugo Broos Addresses Al Ahly Star’s Absence Ahead of FIFA Series Friendlies

Robert Abong'o
updated at March 11, 2024 at 2:53 PM
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  • Hugo Broos has disclosed why Percy Tau has been left out of the Bafana Bafana squad
  • The Al-Ahly forward was bombarded with criticism after the AFCON 2023 tournament
  • South Africa will take on Algeria and Andorra this month in a FIFA Series pilot project

Bafana Bafana head coach, Hugo Broos, has explained the controversial decision to leave Percy Tau out of the squad for the upcoming matches against Andorra and Algeria.

The 71-year-old said the omission was due to Tau's mental state after the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament, where he was heavily criticised.

While announcing the 23-man South Africa squad on Monday, March 11, Broos expressed concerns about the Al Ahly star’s well-being after the showpiece in Abidjan.

South Africa Percy Tau (centre) during the AFCON 2O23 round of 16 match against Morocco on January 30. Photo: Ulrik Pedersen.
Bafana Bafana's Percy Tau (centre) was heavily criticised during the AFCON 2023. Photo: Ulrik Pedersen.
Source: Getty Images

He described the forward as being 'mentally broken', attributing it to the harsh criticism he received on social media. Despite the player’s desire to join the squad, the manager felt it was best for him to stay out and regain composure.

The Belgian tactician stressed his reluctance to worsen Tau's situation by exposing him to potentially more criticism during friendly games.

"You know social media can kill someone. So I saw him, and I talked to him. And I said, ‘No, no, no problem, Percy’. But I knew there was a problem. So I called him two weeks later or one week later, and we talked to each other. And I said to him, ‘Listen, I will not call you up for the friendly games’," the Belgian explained, as quoted by iDiski Times.

The squad selection for the upcoming friendlies sees 10 new players join Bafana’s camp, with three yet to earn caps. The additions reflect Broos' strategy to infuse fresh talent into the team, considering some players were not part of the AFCON 2023 squad.

South Africa’s upcoming fixtures, scheduled for March 21 and 26, will mark their participation in the inaugural FIFA Series, an invitational tournament aimed at providing member associations with increased playing opportunities.

Scheduled biennially, the tournament aims to diversify the landscape of international football and promote the sport's development globally, particularly outside of traditional football strongholds, as reported by FIFA.

Broos equates Johannesburg to his European home

Sports Brief previously reported that Broos compared life in South Africa to that in Belgium.

The coach has seen much of the world thanks to football and has high praise for South Africa.

Broos claimed that life in Johannesburg and the country was superior compared to Cameroon.

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Robert Abong'o
Editor - Africa Team
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