Coach Hugo Broos plans trip to Burnley to talk with Foster

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos is still frustrated by South African-born Burnley FC striker Lyle Foster’s situation.

Foster, who recently underwent mental health counselling, was not part of Broos’ Afcon squad that won a bronze medal, but he continued to play for his English Premier League side throughout the continental competition.

This resulted in comments that Foster chose his club over his country of birth and that his presence for Bafana could have helped Bafana go further in the tournament.

Mental illness

“It frustrates me a little bit. I was well-informed of his mental illness situation by his coach, Vincent Kompany, and by his club, Burnley,” Broos said on Friday.

“Their [Burnley] team doctor did contact us, and at that moment, we understood that it was going to be difficult for him to be at Afcon.

“Foster also wrote a letter to us saying that he was not going to be a part of our team. I still put him on our preliminary list because I was hoping that he would be ready.

“Then he started playing 45 minutes for his club, then the whole game, and I thought maybe we could take him with us.

“We asked the club, but they said that he was not ready to play at Afcon, and we decided not to take him.

“But we saw that he was playing all the games, and that was frustrating — that he can play 90 minutes in the Premier League but he cannot play at Afcon.”

Foster is injured

Broos said he received a message on Thursday that Foster is injured and is going to have an operation.

Said the coach: “I am hoping he will be available at the end of March for the next matches. I am not sure if he will have recovered; I will know in a couple of days. I will talk with him first and then read about the situation.

“The decision is his, whether he comes or not. When he’s ready to come and is physically ready, it is okay.

“If he is not ready, I will be in Belgium in March, and I will go to Burnley, where I will talk to him and see what his situation is.

“It is difficult to say how we missed his impact at Afcon. Lyle and Lebo Mothiba should have been with us in Ivory Coast, but Lebo had an injury and will be out until June.

“But we had big confidence in Evidence Makgopa because he has the potential, and he did not disappoint. If we work with Makgopa, he will become a top striker.”

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