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Broos: Foster’s Problems Have Been Solved

  • May 30, 2024
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Broos: Foster’s Problems Have Been Solved

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos expressed his confusion regarding Lyle Foster’s playing time for Burnley during a period when the striker was deemed unavailable for the national team due to mental health concerns.

“Seeing him playing [for Burnley] didn’t sit well with me, but I had to follow the medical reasons from the club’s doctors,” Broos said.

Foster’s absence from the Africa Cup of Nations squad due to mental health struggles sparked controversy. Burnley confirmed his condition and granted him a two-month leave. Foster even penned a letter to the South African Football Association (SAFA) requesting to be excused from the tournament in Ivory Coast.

However, Broos’ frustration stemmed from Foster’s subsequent return to playing for Burnley despite his reported mental health issues.

“His health problem has been solved, that was the problem,” Broos stated. “But suddenly, he’s starting games with his team.”

Broos further explained his attempts to include Foster in the March friendlies against Algeria and Andorra. “We made contact again and they [Burnley] said, ‘He’s not ready,'” Broos revealed.

“Lyle also wrote us a letter saying he didn’t want to go to the AFCON because he wasn’t ready. That’s why he wasn’t with us in Ivory Coast.”

This situation was further complicated by Foster’s continued appearances for Burnley. “He still played, always playing for Burnley, and it was not easy to accept that,” Broos admitted. “Okay, I followed the medical reasons why I couldn’t take him.”

Despite Foster’s absence, Bafana Bafana defied expectations, reaching the AFCON semi-finals before a penalty shootout defeat to Nigeria. They secured the bronze medal with a penalty shootout victory over DR Congo. Some fans believe Foster’s presence could have propelled Bafana Bafana to even greater heights.

Following positive discussions with both Foster and his former manager at Burnley, Vincent Kompany (who has since left for Bayern Munich), Broos has included Foster in the upcoming squad that will take on Nigeria on 7 June and Zimbabwe three days later in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers next month. It seems all parties are now on the same page, paving the way for Foster’s return to the national team.

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Robin-Duke Madlala

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