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Hugo Broos explains Percy Tau’s exclusion

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has explained the reasons behind Al Ahly star Percy Tau’s exclusion from the national team squad for the upcoming international friendlies.

On Monday afternoon at the SABC television studios in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, Broos announced the final 23-man squad to participate in the FIFA Series international friendlies pilot project in Algeria this month.

Bafana will take on Andorra on 21 March 2024 and Algeria five days later.

Broos’ squad selection suggests that he has one eye on the upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June. Bafana will visit Nigeria in Uyo on 3 June before hosting Zimbabwe a week later.

Sitting in second place in Group C of the 2026 qualifiers, Bafana will be hoping to put their campaign back on track after that disappointing loss against Rwanda in November.

The Belgian tactician, who guided Bafana to their first AFCON semi-final in 24 years, has clarified the exclusion of Tau.

Percy Tau and Hugo Broos of Bafana Bafana at training
Percy Tau


“I spoke with Percy. First of all at the end of AFCON Percy was mentally broken, really broken,” said Broos.

“A lot of criticism was not fair, it was not fair. But okay, you know social media can kill somebody. So I spoke to him and said no problem because I knew there was a problem. 

“So, I called him two weeks later, and I said to him, listen, I will not call you up for the friendly games.

“He said: ‘No, I want to come,’ and I said no, you must not come. Stay there until everything is calm again. Because if you come in a friendly game and you have a bad game, it will start again. So that’s the reason why Percy is not with us.

“I don’t want that they kill him, it was enough after AFCON, so he will be ready again in June and I will see a fresh Percy Tau.” 

The 29-year-old’s exclusion will give him time to recover. Since returning from AFCON, he has featured in three matches for Ahly.

Last Friday, the man nicknamed ‘Lion of Judah’ was in action for Al Ahly as they clinched the Egyptian Cup after defeating their arch-rivals.

Broos will be looking to have a sharper Tau for the Nigeria clash in June.

RELATED STORY: Percy Tau clinches eighth trophy with Al Ahly

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