Bafana Bafana hit hard by Lyle Foster's absence for World Cup quaifiers

Lyle Foster in action for Bafana Bafana during an international friendly against Namibia at Orlando Stadium

Lyle Foster in action for Bafana Bafana during an international friendly against Namibia at Orlando Stadium. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Nov 10, 2023


Lyle Foster was a notable omission when Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos named the 23-man squad for the upcoming 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Benin and Rwanda later this month.

The crack Burnley striker Foster has mental health issues, as IOL Sport reported on Thursday. And while he receives professional help, he is currently absent from matches. Burnley FC coach Vincent Kompany said it is not known when their star player will most likely return to action.

Bafana will take on Benin at Moses Mabhida Stadium on November 16, before travelling to Rwanda for their second match on November 19.

Three 22-year-old players who have caught the eye in the DStv Premiership are surprise inclusions in the squad. They are Golden Arrows defender Bradley Cross, Stellenbosch midfelder Jayden Adams and Polokwane City attacker Oswin Appollis.

Bafana Bafana are now unbeaten in 11 games, winning six and drawing five, dating back to June 2022, when they were defeated in Morocco. However, a string of underwhelming draws have many doubting if the Belgian-born Broos can finally take South Africa to the next World Cup.

Saint Louis City midfielder Njabulo Blom is a notable absentee from the squad. Broos said he was disappointed with the 23-year-old Blom's attitude.

Bafana Bafana squad

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams, Veli Mothwa, Ricardo Goss

Defenders: Sydney Mobbie, Bradley Cross, Grant Kekana, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Aubrey Modiba, Siyanda Xulu, Mothobi Mvala, Khuliso Mudau

Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena, Sibongiseni Mthethwa, Jayden Adams, Sphephelo Sithole

Forwards: Themba Zwane, Zakhele Lepasa, Lebo Mothiba, Percy Tau, Oswin Appollis, Mihlali Mayambela, Thapelo Maseko, Bongokuhle Hlongwane

IOL Sport