Safa president Jordaan on questions about new Bafana coach Broos's age: 'he’s not 70'

Belgian coach Hugo Broos led Cameroon to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations glory in Gabon.
Belgian coach Hugo Broos led Cameroon to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations glory in Gabon.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

With age comes experience, was how SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan responded over question marks of new Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos’s age of 69.

Broos, the Belgian who won the Africa Cup of Nations aged 66 two years ago as coach of Cameroon, was announced the new Bafana boss by Safa on Wednesday. He turned 69 on April 10.

Jordaan, asked about the coach’s advanced years, pointed out that the Brazilian Mario Zagallo was 75 when he steered that country to the 2006 World Cup title in Germany.

“As far as the age of coaches is concerned [Mario] Zagallo, you know how old he was?” Jordaan responded.“[Older] coaches are more experienced. And he’s very experienced. If you can get that kind of coach. And there are many countries who appoint 70-year-old coaches. He’s not 70.

“There is a ranking list of coaches in the world – go and see the top 20 coaches on that list and see the ages. Most people would say they are experienced.

“So I don’t want to engage in these kinds of issues. But we are happy. He is healthy, he is fit, he can run, he can coach, he is fine.

“And therefore he is experienced. If he can’t walk any more, he’s short of breath, then he’s old.”

While Broos may be advanced in years, he has said he wants to inject youth as part of rebuilding Bafana in the wake of the national team’s failure to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which cost predecessor Molefi Ntseki his job.

He does bring experience to the job. A 1970s and 1980s defender who earned 24 caps for Belgium‚ Broos played for RSC Anderlecht and Club Brugge.

Coaching Club Brugge he won league titles in 1991-92 and 1995-96‚ the Belgian Cup twice‚ and Belgian Super Cup four times. He won the 2003-04 league title with Anderlecht.

From there his teams coached included Trabzonspor in Turkey‚ JS Kabylie and NA Hussein Dey in Algeria‚ and Cameroon from 2016 to 2017. Most recently he was sports director‚ then caretaker-manager of Oostende in Belgium between 2018 and 2019.