SA football lacks high-quality players, says coach Hugo Broos

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has taken a shot at former Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane and charged that the real problem facing SA football is that the country does not have high-quality players to compete at international level.

Broos was speaking post the Morocco game where Bafana were beaten 2-1 in Rabat. The match was a qualifier for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations tournament that will be organised by Ivory Coast. The young South Africans put up a brave fight but inexperience cost them in the crucial stages of the game.

“Four days before the game against Morocco, Mosimane decided to criticise me for a game that happened last year in September because we did not send a medical report to Ahly about an injury of Percy Tau,” said Broos.

“It’s not what Pitso said, I have enormous respect for Pitso because what he has done as a coach is fantastic, but I am disappointed in him as a colleague.

“It’s time to look at the real problem of SA football, which is that we do not have high-quality players like Ghana, France and Morocco. When you see those teams, 90% of Ghana’s squad members are playing in Europe.

“In the Moroccan national team, there was only one player who played in the CAF Champions League finals – the goalkeeper of Wydad Casablanca. The rest of the team is playing in big European teams like Sevilla, Fiorentina, PSG and others,” he said.

He added another problem is the level of the local league, noting that it is not high enough and needs to increase competition.

“Our best player is Percy Tau, he has problems in his team Al Ahly. There was one former Ahly player who said that Tau does not have the quality to play for a team like Ahly. We cannot fire the coach and hope that the next coach will solve the problems. We have to sit together with all the coaches, the league and everyone involved in the game.”

“We did that in my country [Belgium] in 2006. We did not have the big players, we did not qualify for the Euro Championships or World Cup tournaments anymore. We took measures and saw what we needed, and 10 years later, Belgium was number one on the Fifa rankings, we did something about it, the development of players and increasing the level of the competition.

“Why can’t we do it here? In European clubs they do not know SA players – they want players from Ghana, Nigeria, Algeria, Senegal or Morocco. The only players we have abroad are Sphephelo Sithole and Thibang Phete playing for a team that was relegated to the second division, they are not Fiorentina or PSG.”

He explained further: “We have Fagrie Lakay playing for Pyramids in Egypt and we have Bongokuhle Hlongwane in Minnesota and that’s a fact. That’s all, we cannot find SA players all over the world. There are few young players and we hope maybe they can come for Cosafa and give us some quality.”

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