Belgian mentor Hugo Broos confirms contact with Safa over vacant Bafana coaching job

Mahlatse Mphahlele Sports reporter
Belgium coach Hugo Broos has confirmed he was approached about the Bafanan Bafana coaching job.
Belgium coach Hugo Broos has confirmed he was approached about the Bafanan Bafana coaching job.
Image: Frank Abbeloos/Isosport/MB Media/Getty Images

Belgian Hugo Broos has confirmed to TimesLIVE that he was contacted by high-ranking SA Football Association (Safa) officials about the vacant Bafana Bafana coaching job.

Safa are desperately working around the clock to find a replacement for former coach Molefi Ntseki, who was relieved of his duties a little over a month ago after Bafana failed to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Cameroon.

The Belgian was believed to be out of the race a few days ago but has re-emerged as the frontrunner after Safa's initial attempts to be bring in Portuguese coach Carlos Queiroz and later fan favourite Benni McCarthy hit snags.

“We had contact one week ago,” Broos confirmed to TimesLIVE.

Probed about his communication with the Safa officials, Broos, who confirmed on Tuesday night that he was still in Belgium, didn’t want to give more details on the discussions.

"The only thing I am willing to say for now is that there was contact with me one week ago. I don’t know what is going to happen in the next day or the coming days. Nothing has happened between me and the federation [Safa] and I don’t want to comment too much on this matter.

Broos is no stranger on the continent and led Cameroon to Afcon success in Gabon in 2017 when they beat Egypt 2-1 in the final at the Stade de l'Amitié in Libreville.

Safa initially wanted to lure Pitso Mosimane back to Safa House, but the Al Ahly coach was not in favour of returning to the senior national team.

The spotlight then fell on Queiroz and Frenchman Hervé Renard, but it later emerged they were not available for a variety of reasons. Safa then turned to McCarthy, but attempts to get him on board have also failed.

Unattached former Bafana midfield strong man Eric Tinkler, who has been suggested as an alternative by some, recently told TimesLIVE he would be interested in taking the job, but said he does not expect to receive a call from Safa anytime soon.

Tinkler is also linked with the Cape Town City job after they put their coach Jan Olde Riekerink on “administrative leave” in a surprise move on Tuesday.

The situation has left Safa in a desperate race against time to secure a coach, given the fact that Bafana’s 2022 World Cup qualifying Group A campaign begins with their match against Zimbabwe in Harare on the weekend of June 5 to 7.

It has also emerged that Safa and the new coach have at least until the end of next week to announce the squad for the back-to-back World Cup qualifiers against Zimbabwe and Ghana next month.