SAFA defends decision to appoint Hugo Broos as Bafana Bafana coach

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The South African Football Association (SAFA) has defended its decision to appoint 69-year old Belgian Hugo Broos as the new Bafana Bafana coach. Broos was unveiled as a surprise choice ahead of Benni McCarthy who was highly punted as a firm favourite by many South Africans.

Briefing parliament on challenges faced by SAFA, the organisation says Broos was the best candidate for the job.

Getting to know new Bafana coach, Hugo Broos with Velile Mnyandu:

SAFA Deputy Chairperson of the Technical Committee, Buti Mathathe, says the Belgian national resonated well with the strategic plan for the team.

“We have just appointed Hugo Broos as senior Bafana Bafana Coach. And what was compelling in his presentation, Honorable Chair, was that it was his passion to work with the youth. And Hugo Broos, amongst others, won the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon in 2017 and South Africans by nature, we are winners and we want to win. We play to win and we set a very very high standard and he is aware. We told him that this is what we want from you to qualify for the World Cup next year,” Mathathe explained to the committee.

Pressure on Broos

Broos comes into the job with a lot of pressure on him. He is the latest in a long line of coaches expected to revive the fortunes of Bafana Bafana.

Bafana Bafana has been underperforming for a long time. Recently, the team has failed to qualify for the 2022’s Afcon tournament in Cameroon.

Sudesh Singh, SAFA member serving in the technical committee, says everyone expects success at the national team.

“Ultimately, Bafana is a flagship and everyone expects success there. One of the key reasons for failure to qualify for Afcon was directly related to COVID because of the games we played against Ghana and Sudan. We had between six to nine of our key players playing abroad, (who) could not travel and cover those games. So, we have to look at how COVID has hit us very hard.”

Lack of funding 

SAFA bosses also told the committee that the government is not doing enough in terms of funding towards the organisation.

SAFA president Danny Jordaan says this lack of funding does impact negatively in the performance of national teams such as Bafana Bafana.

“The contribution of government football is about 3% and if we sign another deal, it may go down to 2% or 3%. In respect of Ghana, they were given $10 million just for the World Cup qualifiers, Senegal was given $20 million just for the qualification of the World Cup and South Africa we get zero. So, these are realities. It’s not a complaint to the committee, but I think it’s important we place before you.”

‘Unanimous decision’ on Hugo Broos, says Danny Jordaan:

Poor marketing

National Soccer League Chairman Irvin Khoza also complained about poor marketing and the fact that SAFA is forced to depend on sponsorship alone in order to get a viable revenue.

“SAFA is no different from cricket and rugby where they go and get money from the organisations like ICC and rugby boards. If you don’t get money from your government, there will be no money that is coming.”