LeFA takes a swipe at Hugo Broos


…as the local football governing body accuses Bafana Bafana’s mentor of deriding Likuena


MASERU – The Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) has appealed to the South African Football Association (SAFA) to reprimand Bafana Bafana head coach, Hugo Broos, for belittling Likuena. This comes after the Belgian-born mentor was quoted as saying Bafana Bafana could not progress if they continued to play against countries like Lesotho.

Broos made these disparaging remarks after Bafana Bafana lost their opening match of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) against Mali in Cote d’Ivoire, where they went down 2-0.

The coach’s negative utterances came despite the fact that his charges recently played a friendly match against Likuena in preparation for the AFCON Tournament, with Likuena holding them to a goalless draw.

“I want to win every match. When I came here (to South Africa), I knew there was a possibility to have a good team,” Broos was quoted as saying.

“You always have to have some goals to achieve. Our first goal was to pass the group stages; even we were not in an easy group with Tunisia, Mali, and Namibia.”

He further said: “We need these types of tournaments to become better. Excuse me; it’s not a lack of respect, but we can’t progress if we face teams like Lesotho. We play against Tunisia; we play against Namibia; maybe next time we play against Morocco.”

In a letter to SAFA’s new Chief Executive Officer, Lydia Monyepao, LeFA Secretary General, Mokhosi Mohapi, accused Broos of lambasting and belittling Lesotho whenever he gets the chance to.

“It has come to our attention that the Bafana Bafana head coach, Mr. Hugo Broos, has taken to lambasting and belittling Lesotho as a country at whatever opportunity that presents itself,” reads LeFA’s letter.

“We also, as the Lesotho Football Association, have observed that the South African Football Association has not found it worth it to stop these unpalatable utterances by its employee.”

LeFA further said: “Let us put this on record, the same Mr. Broos has not won any match against the Lesotho Senior National Team (Likuena) to warrant him portraying the Lesotho national team as not being of the stature of playing against Bafana Bafana.

“You will recall that he developed chicken feet two years ago when an opportunity was presented to him by our sister association to play an international match. He was afraid of losing the match by forcing his employers to renege on the arrangement.”

In the same letter, LeFA said: “Prior to the current 2023 Total-Energies AFCON held in Ivory Coast, on the basis of solidarity, we as Lesotho agreed to assist Bafana Bafana in their preparations. The same holier than thou Mr. Broos did not come plain for surely, he felt he could not chicken out of the match again.”

LeFA further asked SAFA in the letter: “Did his team win against Lesotho? The records show that it did not. His failure to win against Lesotho should have sent warning bells to his employers that something was terribly wrong with him as a coach.

“He lost to Mali, and his team was terribly difficult to watch; he won against Namibia (4-0), and on behalf of the Lesotho Football Association, I (Mokhosi Mohapi) was the first to congratulate SAFA, as I do now that Bafana Bafana are in the last 16 of the competition. We do this because we have a long-standing friendship between SAFA and LeFA, one that was founded long before Mr. Broos thought he would one day coach Bafana Bafana.”

LeFA’s letter further reads: “We felt that Mr. Broos harbours colonial tendencies, and it would be best if SAFA could give him a crash course on Southern African history. It will surely come in handy, and he will respect Africa for making him who he is today, for his home country surely doesn’t even recognise him, not even for menial assignments, hence, his crisscrossing Africa for a living.

“It is our fervent belief that SAFA has the capacity to shut this loud mouth and at least instruct him to retract his unpalatable utterances, which will sow seeds of division amongst our people. During his temporary stay in our region, when he leaves, we will have to co-exist as Sister Member Associations. We cannot allow our peace, our camaraderie, and our brotherhood to be destroyed by a person whose roots originate elsewhere.”

In conclusion, Mohapi said in the letter: “Allow me yet again to congratulate you and your organisation and Bafana Bafana for reaching the last 16 of the competition in spite of having a no-brainer at the helm of the team. We wish you the best of luck as the competition unfolds.”

But even after LeFA wrote to SAFA complaining about his conduct, Broos continued like nothing had happened.

The Belgian football manager was again quoted, expressing his opinions, this time indirectly.

“No one will filter my point of view about how I see the game of football. The examples I‘ve made about some of these countries are relevant in terms of how I believe FIFA (the Federation of International Football Association) and CAF (the Confederation of African Football) want to build the game,” Broos said.

“If you want to arrest me, just remember that I work for SAFA and they hired me because I won AFCON before.”

Broos won the 2017 AFCON Tournament with Cameroon in Gabon.

Mohapi told Public Eye on Tuesday this week that they were still waiting for SAFA to respond.

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