By: T’soloane Mohlomi
South African national men’s football team coach Hugo Broos and the South African Football Association (SAFA) are remaining mute and haven’t responded or issued an apology regarding negative comments made by Broos about the national men’s football team Likuena.
No word has resurfaced as yet from the Lesotho Football Association( LeFA) on the status of the matter regarding an official response or let alone an apology from Broos who is currently still in Cote de I’vore at the Total Energies Africa Cup of Nations 2023 where his Bafana Bafana side put up an inspiring performance against Morocco yesterday.
Broos recently made the comments after Bafana’s qualification into the competitions Round of 16 this after securing a second spot behind favorites Mali in Group E.
After playing to a goalless draw with Tunisia which saw them advance, Broos stated that his team needed to face high- profile opposition like Tunisia and Mali in order to improve as a team instead of teams like Lesotho.
“We need these type of tournament to become better. We will not be better – and excuse me, it’s not lack of respect – but we can’t progress if we face teams like Lesotho,” he said after qualifying for the last 16.
Although the Belgian mentor had indicated that he meant no disrespect to LeFA and Likuena, the Lesotho Football Association Secretary General Mokhosi Mohapi was clearly irked by the comments and wrote a scathing letter to SAFA CEO Lydia Monyepao indicating his association’s dissatisfaction with the remarks.
In his letter to SAFA Mr. Mohapi accused Broos of “colonial tendencies” and went as far as naming the Belgian coach “a no brainer” who’s loud mouth needed to be shut indicating that his utterances would not sow divisions only between SAFA and LeFA but in the whole Confederation of Southern African football Association (COSAFA) region.
It wasn’t the first time that Broos took a swipe at Lesotho, last year he declined a proposal to a friendly game against the side giving the impression that Likuena weren’t of equal stature to play against his team, this despite Likuena having held powerhouses Nigeria to a 1 all draw in Uyo Nigeria last year.
“It has come to our attention that Bafana Bafana Head Coach, Hugo Broos has taken to lambasting and belittling Lesotho as a country at whatever opportunity that presents itself. We also as the Lesotho Football Association have observed that the South African Football Association has not found it worthy to stop these unpalatable utterances by its employees.
“We feel that Mr. Broos harbors colonial tendencies and it would be best if SAFA would give him a crash course on Southern African history. it will surely come in handy and he will respect Africa for making him what he is today for his home country surely doesn’t recognize him, not even for menial assignments hence his crisscrossing Africa for a living”, read part of the letter.
“It is our fervent belief that SAFA has the capacity to shut this loud mouth and at least instruct him to retract his unpalatable utterances which will sow seeds of division amongst our people,” it continued.