COMMENT: Percy Tau loses respect for Bafana Bafana jersey - takes his cue from PSL clubs

FILE - Percy Tau was seen playing for Al Ahly after he asked Bafana Bafana coach to be excused from camp due to family reasons. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

FILE - Percy Tau was seen playing for Al Ahly after he asked Bafana Bafana coach to be excused from camp due to family reasons. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Oct 13, 2023


There is no end to the sickening culture of contempt in South African football as players and clubs alike treat the national team with utmost disdain.

And it seems there is no end in sight, except maybe when it is time for World Cup selections.

Perhaps then players start thinking about the massive bonuses that Fifa offer players today.

South African footballers would have been amazed that Banyana Banyana players returned R1-million richer after the last Women’s World Cup.

It must be remembered that players are free to reject an international call-up or even retire from international football whenever they please.

However, many choose not to exercise this right but decide that they want to have their cake and eat it too. Look at the case of Percy Tau, arguably Bafana Bafana’s best player and proven match-winner for CAF ‘Club of the 20th Century’, Al Ahly of Egypt. Last week, Tau contacted the national team coach Hugo Broos and explained that for family reasons, he would like to be excused from the camp which will be held ahead of the two international friendlies against Eswatini (tonight) and Ivory Coast (Tuesday).

The 71-year-old Broos is a seasoned administrator and a coach who has worked in various parts of Europe and Africa. His stand-out moment was guiding Cameroon to victory in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. He did the sensible thing and granted Tau a leave of absence on compassionate grounds.

The next thing, Tau played for his club Al Ahly in the Egyptian Premier League and had an outstanding game.

He crowned his 90-minute performance with two goals and earned the Man of the Match award.

Broos found it distressing and responded by calmly saying “I’m not amused” when the media asked him about Tau’s audacity to lie to the national team coach.

The obvious outcome should be for the coach to say perpetrators such as Tau will not be considered for future selection.

However, this is not likely because there will be an outrageous outcry and Safa will be under great pressure to let perpetrators off the hook.

There have been many cases like Tau’s over the years and many players have lost respect for Bafana Bafana. This is hardly surprising because the parent body of the country’s professional clubs, the Premier Soccer League, have no regard for the country’s footballcontrolling body.

Their flagrant disregard came into play for the umpteenth time last April when the PSL refused to attend the Safa Indaba and the Ordinary Safa Congress.

Instead, the PSL said they would seek an urgent audience with the Minister of Sport and the CAF president, knowing well they could only approach these men by going through Safa.

As it turned out, it was a lot of hot air and yet again highlighted their dismissive attitude.

Broos has also mentioned other cases of clubs reporting that players are injured but then playing them during the international window.

However, there are times when players become pawns in the intensifying club versus country war and are caught in the crossfire because clubs claim they’re protecting their assets.