Bafana Bafana

'I will not pick Bongani Zungu!': No-nonsense Bafana boss Broos sticking to his guns

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Bongani Zungu
Bongani Zungu
  • Bafana Bafana will face Morocco as the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers kickoff in June.
  • Head coach Hugo Broos announced a 23-man squad that will travel to North Africa for the Group K encounter.
  • Broos was probed on his reasoning for not including Bongani Zungu and Victor Letsoalo in the squad.

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has chosen to be straightforward and candid with the South African public.

The Belgium-born mentor announced his 23-man squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Morocco on Thursday, 9 June.

Broos, more or less, kept the same squad, with some fresh faces making the cut this time around, including Taariq Fielies, Khanyiso Mayo (both Cape Town City) and Phathutshedzo Nange (Kaizer Chiefs).

However, the coach was then probed on his reasoning for not calling up Bongani Zungu, who has never made a Broos squad before.

And his answer was forthright, avoiding diplomacy.

"I see what happened (with him) in France. I am very sorry, but this is not a guy who has to be with our group – for the moment," Broos said after announcing the squad on SABC.

"I don’t speak only about his qualities as a player, but when you see the troubles he had with Amiens this year, he didn’t play in half of the games because there was trouble.

"It was not because he was not good enough but because there were troubles. Three or four months ago, the trainer and the chairman of the club wanted to get him away.

"What is important is the attitude and the mentality of the player. One player can mess up everything because he doesn’t have the right mentality.

"For the moment, I will not pick Zungu because when I see what happened at Amiens, it can happen here and that I don't want."

Last year, Zungu came under scrutiny for his behaviour while on loan at Scottish giants Rangers.

The 29-year-old was banned for six matches by the club when he and four of his Rangers teammates broke Covid-19 protocols by attending an illegal house party. 

When he returned to his parent club Amiens, coach Philippe Hinschberger called out the player for being overweight.

And more recently, Hinschberger lambasted the midfielder to the media after he was shown a straight red card in a Ligue 2 defeat against Pau FC. 

Meanwhile, Royal AM's Victor Letsoalo, who has enjoyed multiple call ups under Broos that included playing time, did not make the 23-man squad.

And Broos, once again, brushed aside diplomacy and opted to share his truth.

"I have followed Victor again; he is a scorer. But he was scoring nine penalties – so if you take that off from his figures, he is not so good anymore for a striker," Broos said.

"We have to choose, again. We had Victor with us the game before, he played one game, and I don’t think, for the moment, Victor is what we are looking for.

"That is the reason. Also, when you compare him with (Khanyiso) Mayo… they are two different strikers.

"Mayo is stronger, he is quicker, and Mayo can keep the ball. Victor is more… okay, he scores, I agree with that. But in the game, he is someone you forget, and then he kicks and scores."

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