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How can Bafana secure World Cup qualification with few players playing abroad? - Kaizer Chiefs legend backs Broos

13:27 EAT 07/12/2022
Hugo Broos & Helman Makhalele, Bafana Bafana, November 2022
Kaizer Chiefs legend Jan Lechaba believes Bafana Bafana won't qualify for the World Cup unless more South African players secure overseas deals.
  • Lechaba feels the level of SA's football has deteriorated
  • The Pretoria-born legend believes SA needs to export more players
  • Says Broos can only be successful if he has the support

WHAT HAPPENED? The last time Bafana participated in the World Cup finals was in 2010 as tournament hosts and they last qualified outright 20 years ago for the 2002 showpiece in Korea-Japan.
Lechaba, who played for South Africa against Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) in 1977, believes the standard of football in the country will not improve if nothing is done to address the failing structures and he also pointed that there is a problem development of players. 
Furthermore, the retired midfielder feels that the national team will continue to suffer as few South African players are playing abroad which is something that has been previously stated by Bafana head coach Hugo Broos.

WHAT DID THE LECHABA SAY? “(Bafana coach Hugo) Broos is not the problem. This thing is much bigger than just the coaches. We keep singing the same song, but nothing seems to be done about it," Lechaba told Daily Sun.
"We can all see the problem but the powers that be won't address it. Why? We need to fix our structures from the ground all the way up. There’s no way we can have failing structures and expect to get it right at the highest level. 
"We need to go back to developing footballers in the South African way. Whatever happened to the School of Excellence which produced so many talented players?” he asked.
“The coach has been asking to meet the PSL coaches since he came to South Africa, but that hasn’t happened. Why can’t he get the coaches in one room to discuss the players? At the end of the day, when two bulls are fighting, it’s the grass that suffers.
“Broos can only be successful if he has the support, but does he have the support? No. If he is telling the truth about the standard of our football we get worked up and criticize him.
"But the man is telling the truth. we don’t have a proper structure and if someone like Broos, who has done it all can see this, it says a lot. How can we qualify for the World Cup and Afcon when we have a handful of players playing abroad?
“Things won’t improve if we don’t want to hear the truth.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Strasbourg striker Lebogang Mothiba is the only Bafana player who is plying his trade among the top five leagues in Europe.
While Percy Tau is the last South African player to play in the Premier League having turned out for Brighton and Hove Albion in the world-renowned league.
Bafana failed to qualify for the 2021 Afcon finals which led to coach Molefi Ntseki's dismissal and he was replaced by Belgian mentor Broos.

The 2017 Afcon-winning coach has been tasked with leading the team to the 2023 African showpiece and 2026 World Cup finals.

WHAT IS NEXT FOR BAFANA?: The 1996 African champions will be in action in March as they take on Liberia in 2023 Afcon qualifies.
If Bafana win both matches they will book their spot in the finals which are scheduled to be hosted by Ivory Coast in 2024.