Sunday World

Broos must get off his couch and start working

Belgian must return to SA and do his job

- Xolile Mtshazo

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is missing in action. It is now three months since the Belgian was appointed to lead Bafana through the World Cup qualifiers starting in September.

We are looking forward to the Bafana tactician making us proud by taking us to the World Cup finals hosted by the Middle East Gulf country of Qatar next year, after the national outcry and disappoint­ment following Bafana’s failure in the last hurdle to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Granted, and understand­ably so, the 69-year-old Belgian coach was forced to return home for his second Covid-19 vaccinatio­n soon after his appointmen­t.

Puzzling, however, it has also taken him more than two months for him to get his second jab in a country where about 4.6-million and 40.1% of the population has already been fully vaccinated.

The former Belgian internatio­nal and central defender has not been on the bench in Bafana’s recent matches after missing a friendly against Uganda last month‚ and did not play a role in the team’s participat­ion in the Cosafa Cup competitio­n that is currently under way in Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape.

With assistant coach Helman Mkhalele also sidelined by Covid-19, Bafana were guided by caretaker coach Morena Ramoreboli in the Cosafa Cup and kudos to him. He has done a sterling job under the circumstan­ces, taking a second string Bafana to today’s final against Senegal.

I understand the ageing Broos enjoys coaching by remote control in the comfort of his lounge back home in Belgium as he watches the Cosafa Cup and the upcoming Olympic soccer finals on TV. Safa, unfortunat­ely, did not put their foot down and insist he returns immediatel­y after getting the jab, travelling restrictio­ns aside.

For crying out loud, the elderly tactician has signed a five-year contract that also binds him to qualify and lead Bafana to the 2026 World Cup, to be jointly hosted by the US, Canada and Mexico in the Americas.

We know he is certainly no small-time coach and has had an impeccable record of winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Cameroon in 2017 in Gabon against all odds, beating Egypt, his most significan­t achievemen­t outside Europe.

Worrisome though is that time is not on our side for the crucial World Cup qualifiers. Broos should have hit the ground running by now. We cannot afford a hold-up in him taking over the reins since becoming the 19th coach of Bafana after replacing Molefi Ntseki, who was sacked in March for failing to take us to Cameroon.

The Qatar World Cup qualifying rounds were postponed from June to September by Fifa due to Covid-19 and the unprepared­ness of Africa’s venues, and we are facing our nemesis Zimbabwe, Ghana and Ethiopia in the next six weeks.

We understand Broos is drawing a salary of about R720 000 from Safa but that is the least of our worries.

In a nutshell, of importance is to familiaris­e himself with the PSL, its players and to monitor overseas contingent that, need his immediate attention, and regrettabl­y, six weeks is not enough, I believe.

 ?? Gallo Images ?? Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has been missing in action for the past two months. How long does it take to get a second Covid-19 jab in Belgium?
Gallo Images Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has been missing in action for the past two months. How long does it take to get a second Covid-19 jab in Belgium? /
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