Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos couldn’t resist taking one last swipe at the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in a final address before departing for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast for their handling of the league schedule. Broos expressed his frustration with the PSL’s decision not to allow a break on December 24 last year, impacting the preparation of Afcon-bound players.

The outspoken coach voiced his concerns about player fatigue, particularly for the ten Sundowns players in the Bafana squad. Sundowns participated in a rigorous schedule of 30 matches between August and December, akin to a full league season, as they engaged in various domestic and continental competitions.

The PSL season concluded on December 31, affording Bafana players only a brief respite before assembling for a four-day camp in Stellenbosch. The team’s preparations culminate with a match against Lesotho on Wednesday before departing for the Afcon tournament on Thursday.

Broos, known for his frankness, highlighted the consequences of the congested schedule on player fitness. “You know the discussion I had with the PSL. Honestly, all these players were not really recovered, we could see and feel it, and that was my fear. It is not so bad, but you feel in training with the measures we took that players were not 100% fresh,” he lamented.

The coach reiterated his earlier plea, made eight months ago, to halt the league on December 24, allowing players a more extended festive break to approach the tournament in optimal condition. Broos emphasized the toll the relentless schedule had taken on teams like Sundowns, playing matches every three days from August to December.

Expressing his disappointment, Broos asserted, “I don’t understand that the league cannot accept and stop on the 24th.” He questioned the PSL’s claim of supporting Bafana Bafana, stating, “I am really sorry about that and don’t tell me they support Bafana Bafana. It is a laugh, but again it is not the real problem.”

Despite his frustration, Broos affirmed the team’s commitment and resilience. “We work hard, and that shows the mentality of the players, that they want to do it, but in the best circumstances, we should have done it differently. I get angry every time to talk about it,” he concluded.

As Bafana Bafana set their sights on the Afcon tournament, the coach’s remarks highlight the challenges faced by the team due to a demanding domestic league schedule.