Sunday May 16, 2021. 12:00
New South African national team coach Hugo Broos has admitted that qualifying for the 2022 World Cup will be a tall order – but has emphasised that Bafana Bafana will still strive to appear at the finals in Qatar.
Broos was set to begin his tenure in charge of SA with World Cup qualifying matches next month, but CAF and FIFA’s decision to delay the start of the group stage has given the former Cameroon coach a little extra time to settle into the role.
Despite this, he has still warned that reaching the 2022 World Cup is perhaps a slightly unrealistic target given Bafana’s lowly status right now (the team failed to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations), though he insists that appearing at the 2023 AFCON is a non-negotiable goal.
“We will do everything – and when I say everything I mean everything – to be qualified for the World Cup next year, but you have to be realistic also, it’s not an easy group,” Broos said in his first official press briefing, as quoted by Kick-Off.
“You have Ghana again, and then you have two countries Zimbabwe and Ethiopia who are dangerous countries – not top level in Africa but it’s tough.
“On the other side, we will try to rebuild a successful team. You know, when you’re rebuilding there are always moments of weakness, so it can happen that we are not qualified for the World Cup.
“It has to be not a disappointment if we are not [qualified] because it can happen, but it does not have to be a blame [on the team]. So don’t be angry if we are not qualified for the World Cup, but 2023 there is AFCON – if we are not qualified for that, you can kill me.
“But again, we will do everything to be qualified for the World Cup; who doesn’t want to go to the World Cup? Only crazy people, but okay, it will be tough.”
South Africa will begin their Group G campaign in the qualifiers in September with matches against Zimbabwe (away) and Ghana (home).