WATCH: Bafana coach Hugo Broos asks Safa, PSL for early Christmas present

Hugo Broos, coach of South Africa during the 2023 International Friendly match between South Africa and DR Congo at the Orlando Stadium, Soweto

Before Hugo Broos’ charges can dream of beating Bafana’s quarter-final finish in the 2019 Afcon finals under Stuart Baxter, they’ll have to make sure they prepare well. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Dec 10, 2023


The South African Football Association (Safa) has vowed to throw their weight behind the needs of Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in January.

From January 4 to 9, Bafana will assemble for a mini camp in Stellenbosch before playing Lesotho, in a friendly, behind closed doors on January 10.

Broos’ men will fly out to the Afcon host nation Ivory Coast on January 11 where they’ll be based in Korhogo before playing their opening game in Group E against Mali five days later.

But before Broos’ men can dream of beating Bafana’s quarter-final finish in the 2019 finals under Stuart Baxter, they’ll have to make sure they prepare well.

Christmas wish

Broos wants the DStv Premiership break to be taken before Christmas - and not later in the year - so that he can have a fresh squad for their mini camp and the finals.

Speaking after their last National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the year on Saturday, Safa chief executive Lydia Monyepao said she had been in contact with her Premier Soccer League acting counterpart Mato Madlala to find a solution to Broos’ plea.

“We’ve looked at the calendar and realised that some teams are playing until the 30th (31st) of December. We’ve reached out to the PSL, asking them to look at the coach’s desire,” she said.

“The coach is asking for the league be finished on the 23rd of December as to allow the players to recover before they go to camp so that he can have a fresher squad.

“I have received a correspondence from the acting CEO. She’s engaging the executive and she’ll revert what the executive has said - considering the coach’s submission.”

With Monyepao set to follow up with Madlala on Monday, she’ll be hopeful of another positive response after assistant coach Helman Mkhalele was cleared to sit on the bench at Afcon.

Recently, reports emerged that Broos was in search of an assistant as Mkhalele doesn’t have a CAF A or Pro coaching license which seems to be a prerequisite in major African competitions.

So much so the names of Mamelodi Sundowns’ coaches Rulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi were mentioned as some of the people who could potentially assist Broos at Afcon.

No worries, say Safa

Monyepao, though, refuted those claims, saying Mkhalele should be beside Broos at Afcon given their clearance from the mother body in recent weeks.

“There’s no issue. Caf doesn’t have requirements on who can sit on the bench (at Afcon). It’s only for the club competitions where they are needed,” Monyepao said.

“For the Afcon, we did double check with them - there are no requirements for the coaches. And I am not aware of the approach to Sundowns.”

Mkhalele was admitted for the Caf A coaching license masterclass which was conducted by Safa in recent weeks, but he missed out on first camp due to Bafana’s two World Cup qualifiers.

And as Safa’s bid to ensure that they have equipped coaches coaching the national team and elite league, they’ve vowed that Mkhalele will acquire his badges.

Meanwhile, Broos is set to announce his final squad for the continental showpiece early next year while the preliminary squad will be announced in the next few days.