Irritated Bafana boss Broos hits out at Blom’s club

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Bafana Bafana head Hugo Broos has threatened to take St Louis City to task if they do not release Njabulo Blom for national duty. Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images
Bafana Bafana head Hugo Broos has threatened to take St Louis City to task if they do not release Njabulo Blom for national duty. Photo: Dirk Kotze/Gallo Images


Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has accused Njabulo Blom’s US club, St Louis City SC, of trying to keep the midfielder away from the national team’s crucial back-to-back Afcon qualifiers against Liberia next week.

Blom is among the 23 players Broos named to his squad during an announcement at the SABC studios in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, which was screened live by the public broadcaster on Thursday. 

The Belgian said he reached out to the 23-year-old and his club, which told him that the player may have contracted Covid-19, but the veteran tactician was visibly irritated by the lack of communication from player and the club.

READ: Eight call-ups for Sundowns as none of Kaizer Chiefs players make Bafana squad

St Louis are top of the western conference in the US top division after winning their opening three matches of the new season.

Blom made his debut off the bench last month, in the club’s first match. He started the second, but was not in the squad last Sunday as his club racked a third successive win.

Broos said: 

So, we had contact with Njabulo and he said [that did he not] feel so good, [that he felt] sick. [The player thought he had contracted] Covid. He did a test and [on Wednesday] we got a medical report at 5pm. The coaching staff and the medical staff were discussing the situation of Blom. Now, 20 hours later, we [still] don’t have an answer.

Asked if he was nervous that Blom may not pitch, Broos said: 

I’m not nervous. I’m very angry about that.

The 70-year-old coach warned that Blom’s club must not play games with him.

He expressed the importance of being made aware on time if he will need a replacement for Blom, but cautioned the Major League Soccer outfit that Safa would not take the matter lying down if the player does not report for camp.

“When the situation is not clear, you start to think about other things that may not be there,” bemoaned Broos.

St Louis City have a game on Sunday, five days before Bafana host Liberia at Orlando Stadium on March 24, and have another game on March 26, two days before the country’s return leg match in Monrovia on March 28.

READ: Bafana to use charter flight to Liberia for crucial 2023 Afcon qualifier

While the US top division is only three games into the new season, Broos said he had reason to believe that the club wants to hold on to Blom.

“I saw that, in America, next week there is a league game, and again on March 26 they play,” said Broos.

Another US-based Bafana star, Bongokuhle Hlongwane of Minnesota United, will be in the Bafana squad even though his team has a game on April 2  against Blom’s club.

Broos said: 

I’m afraid that the club is trying to keep Njabulo there, but that will not happen. We know the rules. If he doesn’t come with a correct reason, he will not play with them because we’ll take it up with Fifa.

Bafana will assemble in Johannesburg on Sunday, after the last round of the DStv Premiership matches, before the Fifa break. 


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