We may not qualify for the 2022 World Cup but be patient: Hugo Broos

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Newly-appointed Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos would not put his head on the block on whether the South African national football team will qualify for the Fifa World Cup to be played in Qatar in 2022. Addressing the media earlier on Wednesday at SAFA House, Broos has said the nation would have to be realistic in their expectations for Bafana Bafana’s fortunes under the new technical leadership. 

“We will do everything to qualify for the World Cup. But we have to be realistic. It’s not an easy group. It can happen that we may not qualify for the World Cup. Don’t be angry if we don’t qualify,” he says. 

“But if we don’t qualify for Afcon 2023 you can kill me. And the 2026 Fifa World Cup is also a must. But we will do everything and we can be in Qatar next year. But you must be patient,” he adds. 

It was expected that the Belgian-born mentor would announce his full technical team today. However, he only gave the name of the Macedonian-born Čedomir Janevski, who he says played and coached in Belgium. Broos also announced that he will be announcing his South African assistant coach, whom he says will have to play a huge role in helping him identify local players and fill him in the local football culture.  

“He knows the culture and he will help me a lot. I will also put my experience to him. He will also coach Cosafa and CHAN tournaments,” he says. 

Janeveski played under Broos while he coached Club Brugge, where the two won both the league in 1990 and the Belgian Cup in 1991. 

The South African National U23 side, which is preparing to travel to the Tokyo Olympics, is expected to form part of the senior national team on return, in line with Broos’ vision to rejuvenate the team with younger, hungrier players. For this reason, it was expected that the side’s coach, David Notoane would be announced as the South African coach.  

But both Broos and SAFA CEO, Tebogo Motlanthe would not reveal the name, except for the former to say he will be having a meeting with Notoane soon.  

While the 69-year-old refused to comment on the terms of his contract, it has been openly said that vision includes qualifying the team for the 2026 Fifa World Cup, which by all likelihood speaks of a long-term contract. Asked if he will see his contract through, given the penchant for the association to rush to cut ties with coaches that fail to deliver, Broos would only say “The life of a coach depends on the results.” 

The 24th Bafana Bafana coach and the oldest to coach the team has been given a breather with the postponement of the second round of the World Cup Qualifiers which were initially expected to kick off in June. The postponement to September means Broos will have more time to spend with the team and prepare it for the much-anticipated games.  

He says he will the commitment of the players if he is to stand any chance of qualifying the team for the quadrennial tournament, which South Africa last took part in, in 2010 by virtue of being host, having last qualified for the 2002 tournament that was played in Korea and Japan almost 20 years ago. 

“I think I can succeed and again it is the way you treat the players. Players need to know that coming to the national team is not a holiday. You have to perform. You have the responsibility to the supporters,” says Broos. 

He has denied that he ditched the Democratic Republic of Congo at the last minute to join Bafana Bafana.  

“I didn’t have contact but there was interest. But the day I got a call from my manager that there was interest from SA I was sure.” 

Broos’ managerial career: