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Kaizer Chiefs legend Khumalo backs Bafana Bafana’s Broos, who ‘was playing against match officials as well’

12:57 IST 17/11/2021
Hugo Broos Bafana Bafana
The former South Africa star has exonerated the Belgian of any blame, saying the circumstances against Ghana were beyond his control

Kaizer Chiefs legend Doctor Khumalo believes Bafana Bafana’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Ghana was not in coach Hugo Broos’ hands, but the hosts and match officials who he feels influenced the result.

Bafana lost their Group G final game 1-0 courtesy of a controversially-awarded first-half penalty which was converted by Andre Ayew.

The result knocked South Africa out in their bid to qualify for Qatar 2022 while the Black Stars proceeded to the play-offs round of the African qualifiers.

Despite the result, Khumalo believes Bafana were up to the task against their much-fancied opponents.

“There are circumstances that made us not qualify for the Ghana game. If we match pound for pound with Ghanaians, they have 99 percent of players playing in overseas, top teams,” Khumalo told Sowetan Live.

“But they struggled on two occasions; they lost at FNB Stadium and couldn’t score except the set-piece. Broos has managed to work on the mentality of these youngsters. He was not only playing against Ghana but the officials as well. So that’s not his failure, it was not in his hands.”

The defeat by Ghana was Bafana’s first under Broos who was appointed in May, but took charge of his first game in September in the opening match of the qualifiers against Zimbabwe.

After beating Zimbabwe, South Africa went on to record four straight wins, including beating the Black Stars at home.

“He [Broos] has done well from a team that didn’t qualify for the tournament before, it has been a fruitful journey until the last match [against Ghana] where the Senegalese referee spoiled it,” continued Khumalo.

“In terms of delivering, he has not lost a game other than the dubious defeat to Ghana which was decided by the referee. Funny enough, other countries who have already qualified for the playoffs don’t even have 13 points. Broos performed well, looking at the fact that he didn’t even have proper training due to different circumstances.”

Broos’ squad was largely made up of new players as he embarked on a rebuilding project.

Safa has since approached Fifa in protest of the result against Ghana and demanded a replay.