Home Sport Broos says there are no more problems with Lyle Foster

Broos says there are no more problems with Lyle Foster

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The Belgian tactician said he was pleased that Foster was available, because he was frustrated by his failed attempts to lure the striker to play at the Afcon in Ivory Coast.

Hugo Broos, coach of South Africa during the World Cup 2026 Qualifiers Bafana Bafana squad announcement at SABC Studios in Johannesburg on 30 May 2024. Picture: Samuel Shivambu, BackpagePix

Herman Gibbs

Burnley FC striker Lyle Foster headlined the 23-man Bafana Bafana squad announced by coach Hugo Broos on Thursday that will face Nigeria and Zimbabwe in key 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in June.

Broos called up Foster for the first time since the 23-year-old missed the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.

The Belgian tactician said he was pleased that Foster was available, because he was frustrated by his failed attempts to lure the striker to play at the Afcon in Ivory Coast.

“His health problem is sorted out now. I was very angry at certain moments, because we got the news that Lyle was not ready earlier this year,” Broos said at Thursday’s media conference in Johannesburg.

“Lyle had mental problems, and suddenly he started playing league matches for Burnley while he was receiving treatment.

“He did not go with us to Afcon because he was not ready. That was what his manager, Vincent Kompany, told me. Lyle also wrote me a letter to say why he should not join the squad in Ivory Coast.

“After that, in March I spoke to Burnley and they told me: ‘No, it is better that you don’t call him at the moment because he is still having mental problems’.

“But he still played for Burnley, and it was not easy to accept that. But now everything is OK. I called him and we had a good chat and there are no problems any more.”

Broos dropped 13 players from the preliminary squad he named two weeks ago. The players will assemble for a camp in Johannesburg on Sunday and fly out to Lagos on Wednesday for next Friday’s match against Nigeria in Uyo (9pm kick-off, SA time).

Bafana Bafana will return to host neighbours Zimbabwe at the Free State Stadium on June 11 (6pm).

Stellenbosch FC’s good form was rewarded after their duo of Jayden Adams and Iqraam Rayners were called up. Rayners is a surprise inclusion ahead of Orlando Pirates striker Tshegofatso Mabasa, the PSL’s leading goalscorer.

Broos feels Mabasa needs to be eased into the international scene so that he could gain some experience before breaking into the national squad.

Rayners has seven senior international caps, and was part of the previous national team squad that competed in the Fifa Series friendlies against Andorra and Algeria in March, where he scored in a 3-3 draw against the hosts.

Broos said the performance against Algeria was impressive, and critics felt that Bafana had made great strides after the Afcon.

Adams withdrew from that squad through injury, but he helped the country win a bronze medal at the Afcon tournament in Ivory Coast.

Bafana Bafana are second in Group C of the African World Cup qualifiers, with just a point less than log leaders Rwanda.

Nigeria are third with two points from draws in their opening two outings, Lesotho fourth and Zimbabwe fifth, all with two points. Zimbabwe are fifth with two points, just like Nigeria and fourth-placed Lesotho.

Bafana Bafana Squad

Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams, Ricardo Goss, Veli Mothwa

Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie, Thapelo Morena, Nkosinathi Sibisi, Aubrey Modiba, Mothobi Mvala, Khuliso Mudau, Siyabonga Ngezana, Grant Kekana

Midfielders: Teboho Mokoena, Jayden Adams, Bathusi Aubaas, Sphephelo Sithole

Forwards: Themba Zwane, Oswin Appollis, Patrick Maswanganyi, Iqraam Rayners, Elias Mokwana, Lyle Foster, Percy Tau, Relebohile Mofokeng

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