ROAD TO AFCON 2023 IN Cote d’Ivoire
Written by Neo Molefi on January 3, 2024
Written by: Kamogelo Mogale
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos announced his final 23 member squad on Thursday 28th of December 2023 for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations which will be held in Cote d’Ivoire from the 13th of January 2024 till 11th of February 2024. The South African national team has been drawn in group E alongside Mali, Tunisia and neighbours Namibia. Bafana will open their AFCON against Mali, then host Namibia and then conclude with Tunisia.
Broos opted to take only 23 players and put three players on standby and not 27 players as most nations have done going to Ivory Coast. AFCON group E opponents have announced 28 players while Tunisia have announced 27 players for their final squad.
Broos has given his reasons on why he opted for a lesser squad. “First of all the 27 or 23 is a matter of budget, that is number one. Secondly, I am not a fan of taking 27 players [to the tournament] to put four players in the stands every game,” Broos said.
“I don’t think it’s good mentally for the players. You take 27 players and you have more choices but I have enough choices from the 23. I don’t see why I should take four more players to the Afcon. Players also know that when you go with 27, he is number 25 or 26 and he will never play, never.
“So, why should I take 27 players? I don’t see what could be an advantage for me or the team. I took 23 with Cameroon and even then, there were three or four players who didn’t even feature for one minute,” Broos further explained.
Players are expected to report for camp on Thursday 4th of January 2024 and the team will be based on Johannesburg until the 9th January 2024. The team will play a friendly against Lesotho on the 10th of January before departing for Cote d’Ivoire.