25 March 2023 – Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has apologized to South Africa for the events that followed the team’s 2-2 draw with Liberia at Orlando Stadium on Friday night (24 March 2023).

The emotional coach left the bench in the dying minutes of the match after Liberia clawed their way from two goals down to force a shock 2-2 draw in a game the South African senior national team dominated and should have won comfortably. He also failed to attend the post-match television interviews and the post-match press conference.

He said it was a combination of factors that led to his emotions getting the better of him. 

“It was everything. When you see the game, it was clear that we were the better team. It was clear that we had a lot of chances. But it was also clear that we missed a lot of chances that, in the last half an hour we lost control over the game because yeah, Liberia was more powerful than we were,” he said.

“And then yeah, in the 91st minute or 92nd minute you get a goal where you lose the victory. And that, yeah, that left me with a lot of emotions and I left at 2-2, went immediately to the dressing room. I did not fulfill my media obligations and I want to apologize for that. But I am a human being and the emotions took control over me yesterday. I know from experience that it is better not to say anything in the heat of the moment and that’s what I did. It was not right, but I think that people can understand in such circumstances when you are taking that decision.”

Broos also dismissed suggestions that he ever considered quitting Bafana Bafana in the heat of the moment on Friday and heading back home to his native Belgium.

“Yes, yes, for sure for sure, if there is something I want it is to qualify (Bafana Bafana) for the Africa Cup of Nations,” he continued. “It has been the same (goal) since I got to South Africa. It is something I have worked for in the last two years and it was with ups and downs. Sometimes people didn’t understand why I took some decisions, but I think everyone saw yesterday that we have a good team.

“Yeah, let’s be clear about that also. And let’s be clear again that I still believe in the team and that I want to go with them to the Afcon next year in Côte d’Ivoire. So there is no doubt about it, and I will again do everything I can to win on Tuesday, and to assure qualification for Afcon in January next year. So let there be no doubt about that.”

The Bafana Bafana players returned to training on Saturday afternoon (25 March 2023) and they are determined to pick up the piece and focus on the return match against Liberia in Monrovia on Tuesday (28 March 2023).

“So I think the most important thing now is that the players know I still believe in them, I still believe in them. They must not believe that because I was frustrated, angry and disappointed yesterday I don’t believe in the team. I believe in the team because I built it. I know we have good players, and I know this team is able to qualify for the Afcon. So I think that’s what they’re waiting for now, to see a coach who still believes in them. Then we will prepare for that difficult game in Monrovia on Tuesday, and I hope we will not make the same mistakes in that game because it was very, very, very clear that we are the better team. So if we can yes, refill the batteries again for Tuesday, not just physically, but also mentally, then we have to come back with a positive result. I am sure of it.”