Hugo Broos: Bafana Bafana don’t need extra motivation against Morocco

Hugo Broos says Bafana Bafana need little motivation for their clash against Morocco. Photo:Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Hugo Broos says Bafana Bafana need little motivation for their clash against Morocco. Photo:Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jun 9, 2023


Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos believes facing World Cup semifinalists Morocco in their 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier should be enough motivation for his players to wear their hearts on their sleeves.

After a gruelling qualifying process, Bafana finally sealed passage to Afcon as they are guaranteed a second-place finish in Group K behind leaders Morocco.

But qualifying is not yet done, with the two Afcon-bound nations meeting in their final qualifier at FNB Stadium next Saturday.

And while the match will be academic on paper, both teams are not leaving any stone unturned as the two coaches Broos and his counterpart Walid Regragui named relatively strong squads.

Broos named his final 23-player squad yesterday, recalling Percy Tau, Themba Zwane and Teboho Mokoena, while he explained Lyle Foster’s absence.

Foster was a notable absentee from the preliminary squad but there were other notable omissions in the final squad, including midfielder Miguel Timm and striker Khanyisa Mayo.

The duo had impressive seasons with their respective clubs Orlando Pirates and Cape Town City. But after Broos’ evaluated them in camp, he felt they were not fit to make the cut in the final team.

“There’s Mokoena and Timm

(in the mix). But again, those are choices you have to make and they are difficult. And sometimes, you can’t explain why you do them,” Broos said.

“Timm deserved to be with us. I saw him in the pre-camp training. But you must choose. And I chose not to take Timm – finish. Everything I can say after is not important. It’s just a choice.”

With Broos having made his choices, it’s up to the players to ensure that they deliver on the pitch, especially coming up against a nation such as the Atlas Lions at home.

Since their last meeting last year, Morocco's pedigree not only on the continent but around the globe has grown in leaps and bounds – they are World Cup semi-finalists and the No 1 ranked team in Africa.

And that is why they are not expected to be below-par whenever they take the pitch as they have to either maintain or improve their standard – especially heading to Afcon where they will be favourites.

This augurs well for Broos who believes his troops will not need any motivation to wear their hearts on their sleeves and ensure that they make South Africa proud.

“I should not be pleased if I have to motivate the players to play against Morocco – then there’s a big problem,” the Belgian said.

“If players are not motivated to play a team like Morocco, then I think it’s better you go home and don’t come to Bafana to play that game.

“This is why you become a professional – to play these games. This is a big game. If you and the team get a positive result, it’s also good for you as a player.

“You must know a lot of people watch these games. It’s interesting to see Morocco, but also to see what the guys of Bafana can do. And that must be enough to motivate the players to play in this game.”