Safa’s Danny Jordaan on Bafana coach Hugo Broos: Our journey will continue

SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan (right) says they have no intention of releasing coach Hugo Broos (left). Picture: Michael Sherman

SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan (right) says they have no intention of releasing coach Hugo Broos (left). Picture: Michael Sherman

Published Feb 15, 2024


SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan says they have no intention of releasing coach Hugo Broos after his relentless fight to build Bafana Bafana during his tenure.

Bafana achieved the improbable at the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations as they finished as bronze medallists, and received the coveted Fair Play award from the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

It was an incredible milestone as Bafana were not tipped to even make it past the group stage following lukewarm preparations and personal battles with the governing body.

Bafana drew friendly matches they were expected to win before the tournament, while Safa was accused of not fully backing the team with adequate resources.

Bad start

Reports emerged that the association was involved in bonus rows with the players for the friendly games, and was responsible for the late booking of hotels.

Before that, Broos had expressed his dissatisfaction with the quality of South African players, something that reportedly put his relationship with Jordaan on ice.

But since then, the silver-haired Belgian made some bold decisions – changing his mind or sticking to what he thought will work better for the team.

This included calling up Themba Zwane, 34, to his camp after initially overlooking him for being too old, while sticking with mostly locally-based players.

Broos chose 20 SA Premiership players in his final 23-man Afcon squad, a policy that worked like a charm as Bafana sent nations such as Morocco, who boast mostly overseas-based players, packing.

And thanks to Broos’ methods, Bafana received a hero’s welcome at OR Tambo International Airport on Wednesday.

“I want to say, again, thank you to the coach. We started a long journey (together). We’ve had many fights with the coach, and he’s not going to run away from a fight,” Jordaan said.

“He runs towards a fight. He has very strong views, and he’s not afraid to express them. But in the end, you could see the team shaping.

“And the team that played was his creation. So, I want to thank him for not stepping back, and being relentless in building a team that he thought would win the Afcon.”

Came in like a wrecking ball

Broos didn’t only ruffle feathers with Jordaan on his arrival in South Africa, but with the football masses as well, as he dismantled the existing team and started afresh.

Instead of going for the tried and tested or popular figures, Broos selected players on merit, a ploy that largely included youngsters from all walks of life.

That also worked like a charm, with Evidence Makgopa, 23, Oswin Appollis, 22, Jayden Adams, 22, and Sphephelo Sithole, 24, all playing a key role in the Afcon success.

“In any case, he won it with Cameroon. He did the same thing: there were players such as Samuel Eto’o, Rigobert Song, and he removed all of them,” Jordaan added.

“He brought in youngsters and won the Afcon. And that’s what we wanted here. He did the same, and we came very, very close.

“We are very appreciative of his effort, energies that he put in. He had to stay in our country for many weeks. He’s a grandfather and has many grandchildren.”

And having overachieved at the Afcon, amid all the negativity that surrounded his team, Broos is said to have attracted interest from north African sides Algeria and Tunisia.

Safa holding onto Broos

The two teams are coachless after Djamel Belmadi and Mondher Kebaier resigned and were sacked respectively following underwhelming spells at the Afcon.

But Jordaan says they are not planning to let go of Broos any time soon as they have more surfaces to scratch, including qualifying for next year’s Afcon and 2026 World Cup.

“So, coach, thank you very much for all your efforts. But our journey is going to continue. There’s still another mission ahead of us. We must complete the task,” Jordaan said.

Bafana will be back on the pitch on March 21 in a friendly against Andorra in Algeria, while they will play their next Fifa World Cup qualifiers in June against Nigeria away and Zimbabwe at home.