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Broos unimpressed with Butare pitch

todayNovember 22, 2023 45

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Hugo Broos, coach of South Africa during the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026 South Africa Training Session at the Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban on the 17 November 2023 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana head coach, Hugo Broos, has called on FIFA and CAF to re-think allowing the Huye Stadium to host games after being forced to play on the waterlogged artificial pitch in a 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Rwanda on Tuesday afternoon.

South Africa were beaten 2-0 by their hosts in what was a shock result, considering the FIFA rankings of the two nations. Rwanda is ranked 139th, while Bafana are ranked 62nd.

Broos has admitted that they were punished for their slow start.

“You lose with 11 and you win with 11, so again, we were not ready for the game. The first 20 minutes we lost duels and we didn’t have an answer to the kick and rush from Rwanda and we gave two presents and therefore we lost the game,” said the Belgian.

Broos’ main gripe was the pitch in Butare.

“It’s unbelievable that the qualifier for the World Cup is played on such a pitch. It’s impossible. But OK, it is what it is. I think that FIFA and CAF has to be stricter in the rules on where you’re going to play – we’re talking abut professional football, we’re talking about qualifiers for the biggest tournament of professional football – the World Cup – and then you have to play on such a pitch.”

Broos has also responded to questions over his decision to play the ball on the ground rather than choosing to play route one football on the tough pitch.

“If you will ask Rwanda to play like South Africa, I don’t think they can do it either. The coach chooses what’s best for his team and your coach chose a good tactic today because he won and we didn’t have an answer to that for the first 20-25 minutes. After that, we dominated the game and that has to be from the first minute.”

After two matches in group C, South Africa are second on three points, having won one match and lost the other.

Rwanda lead the group with four points, while Nigeria, Lesotho and Zimbabwe are third, fourth and fifth on two points, respectively.

Benin are bottom with one point.

Written by: Ntsako Mukhari

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