South Africa’s Hugo Broos dodges gunshot over picking Super Eagles striker as big game player

Head coach of the South African male football team, Hugo Broos, has revealed he faced heavy criticism after ignoring Percy Tau as a player with a big impact on African football, reports.

The 72-year-old Belgian led Bafana Bafana to the semi-final of the AFCON 2023 tournament where they lost on penalty shoot-out to the Super Eagles of Nigeria. It was the first time South Africa reached the semi-final of an AFCON tournament in 24 years.

Some time ago, the former Anderlecht coach was quizzed about African players who turn out to be impactful and stamp their names on big games, and he mentioned Senegal’s Sadio Mané and Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen, ignoring South Africa’s Percy Tau.

Speaking on the Frank & Franky Podcast, Broos revealed he received heavy criticism from the South African media for not mentioning one of their own.

“They almost shot me for it, because I said that Percy Tau is not a big player. When I talk about a great player, I think of Mané at Senegal or Osimhen at Nigeria. The press then turns Percy Tau into a real star player. Strangely enough, Tau was criticized afterwards for not playing well. It is a prime example of how the South African press can be tough,” the Bafana Bafana coach said, as per Nieuwsblad.

Broos, who in recent times has been linked with a return to coaching Belgian club side, Club Brugge, has revealed that the unfair criticism he received made him think about his future in coaching the Bafana Bafana.

“I don’t want to experience the criticism I received here over the last two years again. That is always something that hurts. They accused me of having no respect for the nation and of not knowing African culture. For example, everyone knows that the competition is at too low a level. But if I said that, I would be blamed,” the former Cameroon coach added.

South Africa will lock horns with the Super Eagles of Nigeria on the 5th of June as both sides look to secure three points en route to qualifying for the 2026 FIFA World Cup.