Steve Komphela slams ‘disrespectful’ Hugo Broos for ‘condescending’ comments about PSL

17 June 2022 - 11:00
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela. File photo
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela. File photo

Mamelodi Sundowns senior coach Steve Komphela has slammed Hugo Broos after the Bafana Bafana coach claimed SA doesn’t have “high-quality players” and the “PSL level is not high enough” to guarantee success on the international stage.

Broos, who was addressing the media last week after Bafana Bafana lost 2-1 against Morocco in their opening 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in, said SA doesn't have high quality players like those in Ghana, France and Morocco.

“Now is the time to face the real problem and the real problem of SA is that we don’t have high quality players. We don’t have players like those of our last three opponents in Ghana, France and Morocco,” Broos said.

“If you look at Ghana, 90% of their [national team] players are based in Europe. When it comes to France, I don’t even have to explain because their players play for big European teams.

“Two Moroccan teams in Wydad and RS Berkane won those competitions and in the Moroccan team there was no player from those teams in the national team except the goalkeeper. Let’s face it, the problem of SA is that the level of the PSL is not high enough,” he said. 

Taking to social media, Komphela said Broos was out line and his comments were condescending. 

“This coach has been insulting everyone as he wished and none of you members of the fourth estate saw this coming. Nothing wrong with voicing opinion but please understand this is a nation and not some cabal in a forest. Where is intelligence in such reckless statements?” said Komphela

“Our nation is addressed with so much carelessness and lack of tact. It is disrespectful and to some it sounds like the 'honest truth', but [to] others the tone is just condescending.”

Komphela criticised Broos' tone, saying national coaches have a certain tone that penetrates deeper throughout the nation.

“I have never come across a national coach with this tone. I’ve worked with a lot of top international coaches. They are great diplomats. They never insult the intelligence of their people.”

He said a national address should “carry a particular tone” and must address the people as his nation, and not some observer with no allegiance.

“I do not dispute standards. There’s a lot to that as well but a national address needs to carry a particular tone. He’s not only talking to his nation, he’s reflecting his nation to other nations as well. He must address us as his nation and not some observer with no allegiance,” said Komphela.

“Be brutally honest but with respect. It is possible. Not unless you lack intelligence. If so, we’ll understand your deficiencies and limitations.”

Komphela said it may be difficult for many to identify the issue in Broos' tone and a speech was not only about delivery but also how one delivers it.

“If I were one of the leaders at the SA Football Association and the national coach addresses the nation like this, surely I would seek to understand their motive? Unfortunately it may as well go unnoticed,” he said. 

Komphela also slammed suggestions that his outburst over Broos' statement was a result of not wanting to admit the truth about the national team.

“I cannot be stopped from asking for respect for our nation. We cannot be addressed like delinquents or vagabonds. We are not lunatics. We are a nation that deserves respect from a national coach.

“Tell the truth but maintain respect and dignity. Guys we cannot accept camouflaged disrespect and pretend to be seeing the truth. Yes, say the truth, we agree, we want to hear it, but remain respectful,” he said. 

TimesLIVE conducted a poll asking readers if they agreed with Broos' statement. 

Most (80%) of the voters agreed the country needs to reflect and fix SA football, 11% didn't agree and said Broos was making excuses because he is not up to the job, and 10% said they couldn't be bothered because they don't watch the PSL.