Another blow for Hugo Broos as Thabiso Kutumela is withdrawn from Bafana camp
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Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos feels that there are “people who do not want to see the national team succeed” after recent incidents in camp ahead of the back-to-back FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia away and at home.
On Monday, Broos made a sober admission, saying that Orlando Pirates' midfielder Goodman Mosele didn’t report for camp and didn’t give an indication on his whereabouts.
But as if that was not stressing enough for the former Cameroon coach, on Tuesday, Broos said Mamelodi Sundowns organised for some of their players to vaccinate on Monday – a feat that saw striker Thabiso Kutumela being withdrawn from camp as they didn’t want to complicate his recovery process after the jab.
It’s not the first time that Broos feels as though he’s been sabotaged by clubs in the PSL. He and his deputies were denied entry at the Orlando Stadium for a league game between nemesis and two of the three "big three", Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns.
Before that he had requested a meeting with all the top-flight coaches to discuss the progress of the players. But that, too, fell on deaf ears. But it was the recent incidents – of Mosele and Kutumela – that seem to have annoyed the Belgian-born coach.
“Yesterday I was a frustrated coach because I am getting a feeling that some people in this country do not want to see Bafana Bafana become a successful team,” Broos said during a media briefing at the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto on Tuesday.
“Three months ago, I wanted to organise a game and suddenly there was a game in the camp. But that last game was a championship game, and it was against the rules of FIFA, but I had to cancel my game because the players couldn’t report for camp.”
He continued: “Then there was a meeting (proposal) with all the coaches but that was refused. Then there was an incident with Pirates. Then yesterday, Sundowns organised the vaccination for Thabiso Kutumela. I have a (mere) problem with the timing.”
Broos has conceded that he has no problem with the vaccination of Kutumela but that Sundowns opted to organise it during a national team camp was probably done to disrupt him for the crucial qualifiers against Ethiopia at home and away from home.
The South Africans are at the summit of Group G in their quest to qualify for Qatar next year, thanks a draw away to Zimbabwe and a famous win over Ghana in September at home. But they’ll know that the game against Ethiopia will pose a new challenge.
Bafana’s last visit to East Africa didn’t go according to plan as they were defeated 2-1, ruining their chances of qualifying for the global showpiece in 2014. But Broos believes that they’d take a gigantic step towards Qatar if they get back-to-back wins.
“The third and fourth games of the qualifiers are always key matches,” Broos said. “Those are matches that can be decisive. You can be out of the race or you can be in a very good position. If we win those two games, Ethiopia will be out of the race.”
Bafana will leave the country for Ethiopia on Thursday, while their match is scheduled for Saturday. But they’ll be thrilled that their return leg at home on Tuesday will be played in front of their fans, following the confirmation from the association.