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Hugo Broos on Percy Tau’s stop-start Bafana relationship: ‘I hope it will stop’

Percy Tau with Hugo Broos, coach of South Africa, during a press conference
FILE – Percy Tau with Hugo Broos, coach of South Africa, during a press conference. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has highlighted Percy Tau’s importance to the national team as a subtle ’club vs country’ war rages.

Cape Town — Percy Tau’s stop-start relationship with Bafana Bafana since he’s joined Egyptian giants Al Ahly is becoming a nightmare for coach Hugo Broos.

Tau has so much to offer the national team, and while Broos would like to take advantage of that, a subtle ‘club vs country’ war is raging. Broos announced on Monday that the Al Ahly talisman will not be part of the squad to play in Europe this week.

Over the weekend, Tau scored a first-half goal against Al-Merreikh in the CAF Champions League. However, in an unusual move, Tau was substituted ahead of the halftime break. From television replays, it was not obvious that Tau had picked up an injury.

However, Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane said afterwards: “Percy Tau’s substitution was due to injury. He was fit to start, and he scored a goal, but he suffered an injury.”

Broos was perplexed at Monday’s press conference when he announced Tau had withdrawn from the squad.

“I was very happy on Sunday after the screening by the team doctor because I had the 23 players I wanted from the beginning, except Percy.

“Percy will not be there. He is again injured,” said Broos said. “It becomes a problem with Percy. Since I am here in September, he’s had problems. He has not been ready for the two matches we played.

“He was injured, and he went injured back to Al Ahly. He was not there for the two games against Ethiopia because he was injured.

“For the last games against Ghana and Zimbabwe (World Cup qualifying) he was not 100%, and he returned with injury. Now again he’s injured.

“I hope one day it will stop with him. He is a very important player for us.

“I’m also a bit afraid if that goes on, we will have a problem with Percy for June (when Afcon qualifying starts). Again, he will be out for weeks with a knee problem, so that is not a good thing for us.”

Broos’ other disappointment was the injury to Mamelodi Sundowns star Thapelo Morena who was called up over the weekend. However, when he pitched at the camp in Dobsonville, he was nursing an injury.

“Yesterday (Sunday), Morena came to the camp, but he had an injury, so he’s out too,” said Broos.

“We decided (Victor) Letsoalo will come in. We called him on Saturday after we knew that Percy was not going to make it.”

Broos is also up the neck with media questions about the continued absence of Mamelodi Sundowns midfielders Themba Zwane and Andile Jali. He apologised in advance for not entertaining any more questions about the duo.

“For once and for all, I’m very sorry to say this. Since I’m here, everybody is always talking about Jali and Zwane,” said Broos.

“I do not have a comment on that. You know why they are not here, so I do not have a comment on that. I will not repeat that every time.

“I’m very sorry, but for me, no comment anymore about Jali and Zwane. You always must try to increase the quality and to improve your team.

“We started during September. I said from the beginning, I’ll try to build a young team, but the door is not shut for the older ones.

“When I came here, I saw that the team was old. When you have an old team you do not have a future.

“When we evaluated the World Cup qualifier performances, we saw that we missed something. We missed the experience.

“I saw the performances of Sundowns, AmaZulu and Pirates in Confederations Cup and Champions League, and when players perform at that level, I don’t think that you can keep them out of your team, they deserve to be there, they have the quality and the experience.

“Therefore, I hope that those guys will improve the quality and we’ll have a better team than two months ago.”


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