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Is Hugo Broos the right coach for Bafana Bafana?


There has been mixed reaction to the appointment of Hugo Broos as the new Bafana Bafana coach. For some it’s a resounding yes, while others are not so convinced.

FILE – Hugo Broos. Photo: Yuri Cortez/AFP

Hugo Broos was named as the new Bafana coach on Wednesday. Have the SA bosses made the right call?

YES, says Mihlali Baleka

The appointment of Hugo Broos as new Bafana Bafana coach was definitely a spot-on decision by the South African Football Association!

Despite Broos spending the last three years in his native Belgium, where he held the role of Sporting Director at Jupiler Pro League side KV Oostende, his knowledge of African, international and inter-club football is vast.

After all, he inspired the Cameroonian national team – the Indomitable Lions – to the Africa Cup of Nations crown four years ago by defeating the mighty Egypt in the final in Libreville, Gabon.

Before his tenure in Cameroon, Broos coached club football in Algeria, holding the fort at Jeunesse Sportive de Kabylie, the 14-time Algerian and two-time African champions who’ll play in the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals this month.

In the last week or so, reports were rife that Benni McCarthy was the frontrunner to land the Bafana coaching job after Safa were snubbed by Carlos Queiroz and Pitso Mosimane, who both said they were not eager to return to the national team.

Taking nothing away from McCarthy, he’s done well as a coach since his first job at Cape Town City, and currently at title challengers AmaZulu. But his credentials and experience do not come anywhere near that of the 69-year-old Broos who has won many championships.

So often our players tend to rest on their laurels, almost guaranteed they’ll get a call-up and starting berth whenever a local coach is appointed at Bafana. But with someone like Broos at the helm, there’ll be a demand from every individual to pull up their socks.

Broos arrives at Bafana with a slight advantage after the reports that CAF is expected to postpone the start of the Fifa World Cup qualifiers from June to September after a number of countries battled to submit venues for their home games amid Covid-19 implications.

With the next Fifa window in June, that should give the Under-23 national team coach David Notoane freedom to have all the players in the preliminary squad, including the seven overage personnel he wants for his last preparations ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.

NO, says Herman Gibbs

The technical committee of Safa identified Hugo Broos as a prospective coach because he was unemployed.

But being unemployed should never be a good enough reason for choosing a coach, even more so if that jobless stint is now into its second year.

His last appointment as caretaker coach of KV Oostende, a Belgium First Division club, lasted 54 days.

Since then, Broos has not landed another coaching position, and that should raise a red flag for Bafana Bafana followers.

Premiership outfit Tottenham Hotspur fired José Mourinho last month. A few days later, Serie A club AS Roma handed Mourinho a three-year contract.

The Mourinho case study suggests that any coach worth his salt will be snapped up as soon as he becomes available.

It will be worth questioning why Broos has been jobless for so long.

Another matter of concern is that apart from Broos’ short 54-day stint as a coach two years ago, he last worked as a full-time coach in 2017 when he was head coach of Cameroon. He guided the country to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title in Gabon.

Months later, he was fired after Cameroon failed to reach the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

Another factor that influenced the sacking was that Cameroon failed to win a single match at the 2017 Fifa Confederations Cup in Russia.

After that, Broos was a club administrator at Oostende and did not serve in a coaching capacity.

Bafana Bafana need a coach who has been at the cutting edge of coaching and the game itself in the past few months, rather than one kicking his heels on the sideline waiting to land a coaching job.