Why Hugo Broos Has No Chance At Bafana

Hugo Broos, coach of South Africa

Whether we are talking about a national soccer team or an international company, the chances of success are based on very simple basic factors. And if you get those basics right, then you’ve got a good chance of attaining success. However, if you don’t get the basics right, your chances of sustained long-term success will be virtually non-existent. It is for this very reason why Hugo Broos has no chance at Bafana.

For any national football team to have any chance of success, the administration support from the local football association must be top class. No national team will do well in international football without top-class administrative support. International football is all about administrative planning and preparation. The logistics of international football with players playing overseas, the travel arrangements, the scientific support needed, and getting it all right is paramount. World class admin support is much easier than putting a great national team together. Admin support is a hiring exercise and there is no reason why SAFA cannot offer world class support to our national team. We should be able to match the big European nations in this regard. The trouble is that SAFA’s support of the national team is not up to standard, and the result of that is that the very basis of the team’s chances at success is compromised. Through the years Bafana coaches and players have bemoaned the lack of excellence from Safa. It’s not a difficult thing to fix, but until SAFA become a well-oiled machine, especially in terms of the national team, the basis of success will always be compromised.

Just as the SAFA admin problem is not of Broos’s making, nor is the second stumbling block in the coach’s way, namely the quality of players available to the national team. The fundamental basis of the quality will be the level of player and standard that the local professional league provides. This will inevitably result in how many of the leagues players end up playing in the top leagues around the world.

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s we had players featuring regularly in the very best leagues in the world. Today we do not have any. That says it all.

The big football leagues of Europe have voted with their money on our standard by, despite the weak rand making our players extremely cheap, they still go to South America, the rest of Africa and now even Asia and the USA, without so much as the occasional glance at the PSL players. This is not a SAFA problem, this a PSL issue.

Player’s lack of professionalism could be an issue, but the real issue is the current level of ownership and the lack of understanding of what it takes to sustain a lifeblood of consistently producing great players. PSL supremo, Irvin Khoza, has pulled the PSL in the right business direction, but now it’s time for the ownership model to be readdressed. Sundowns have been the only bright spot in holding the SA soccer flag up high in recent times. The PSL needs to understand that in order for crowds and sponsors to flock to the game, our national team needs to be filled with ex-PSL stars now playing for the big boys of the big leagues. And the result of that will be more money for the club, and a better Bafana with a Brazil and Argentina type conveyor belt of talent.

While the two previous reasons why Broos has no chance of proper success with Bafana are not of his making, the third reason most certainly is. Broos was correct in pointing out the lack of support from SAFA, and he was also correct in bemoaning the standard of the PSL and our players. All of us know that. The facts already mentioned are not up for debate. If the standard was what it should be, a big team like Chiefs wouldn’t be playing its home games in front of a few thousand fans on a regular basis. Unfortunately, it is how Hugo Broos puts his point across.

That is the problem. A national team coach has to be a leader, a man that the players and the fans look to for strength and belief. A true leader can take a team of no hopers and lead them to unimagined heights. It has happened many times in football at all levels, and will continue to happen forever more, and it’s one of the reasons we love this game so much. Broos may not be able to change SAFA, and he will not be able to turn our players into EPL stars overnight, but he can instil belief, and that begins with him and no one else. Managing a national side is managing a team in a series of one-off games. Unlike in the league where the best team over the length of a season clearly wins the title, every team has a chance in one off cup games and that is the nature of international football.

As a team you may be able to get away with poor admin support and less ability than your opponents, but you will not get anywhere without belief.

From his statements, we get the impression that belief in Bafana is what Broos is lacking, and that makes it almost impossible for the players to believe.
Only Broos can rectify that.