Broos names Foster in Bafana provisional squad, no place for Mabasa

15 May 2024 - 13:53
By Marc Strydom
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos. File photo
Image: Darren Stewart/Gallo Images Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos. File photo

Lyle Foster has been included in Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos’ 36-player provisional squad for next month’s crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria away and Zimbabwe at home.

There was no room, however, for Orlando Pirates’ big, in-form centre-forward Tshegofatso Mabasa, who tops the DStv Premiership scoring chart with 15 goals.

The South African Football Association said the “final 23-member squad will be announced in the next few days”.

Mabasa’s Bucs teammate Evidence Makgopa, who played a crucial role for Bafana as they won bronze at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast in January and February, earns a recall from Broos having recently returned from injury for his club.

Burnley striker Foster withdrew from the squad that did duty at the Nations Cup over mental health issues though he then returned to action for the club — relegated from the English Premier League this past weekend — before the tournament.

He was not called for Bafana’s friendlies in Algeria in March, where the national team drew 1-1 against Andorra and 3-3 against Algeria as Foster’s future with the national team remained clouded.

Broos said after the Nations Cup he would engage the Pirates youth product and Burnley manager Vincent Kompany on the striker’s future with Bafana.

Another notable inclusion is Pirates’ skilful 19-year-old attacker Relebohile Mofokeng who has caught the eye with his performances, scoring four goals in 35 league and cup games in a breakthrough season for the Soweto giants.

Bafana meet Nigeria in Lagos on June 6, then host Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein on June 11.

South Africa are in second place in group C on three points to Rwanda on four. Nigeria, Lesotho and Zimbabwe have two points and Benin one.

The top teams from the nine African groups qualify for the first 48-team World Cup in Canada, Mexico and the US. The four best runners-up go into a playoff to decide one side that will contest a six-team intercontinental tournament.

Bafana started with a 2-1 win against Benin at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, then lost 2-0 away to Rwanda, both in November last year.

Nigeria's poor start, drawing matches against Lesotho and Zimbabwe, has left the group wide open and South Africa could put themselves in the driving seat with positive results in next month's matches.

A draw in Nigeria and win at home to Zimbabwe would be seen as a good outcome by Broos.

Bafana provisional squad


  • Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Bruce Bvuma (Kaizer Chiefs)
  • Ricardo Goss (SuperSport United)
  • Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu)


  • Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United)
  • Thabiso Monyane (Orlando Pirates)
  • Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates)
  • Nkosinathi Sibisi (Orlando Pirates)
  • Aubrey Modiba (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Given Msimango (Kaizer Chiefs)
  • Mothobi Mvala (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Tapelo Xoki (Orlando Pirates)
  • Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Terrence Mashego (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Thabo Moloisane (Stellenbosch FC)
  • Siyabonga Ngezana (FCSB, Romania)
  • Grant Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns)


  • Teboho Mokoena (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Grant Margeman (SuperSport United)
  • Jayden Adams (Stellenbosch FC)
  • Bathusi Aubaas (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Sphephelo Sithole (Tondela, Portugal)


  • Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Devin Titus (Stellenbosch FC)
  • Oswin Appollis (Polokwane City)
  • Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates)
  • Mlondi Mbanjwa (AmaZulu)
  • Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC)
  • Tshepang Moremi (AmaZulu)
  • Elias Mokwana (Sekhukhune United)
  • Lyle Foster (Burnley, England)
  • Evidence Makgopa (Orlando Pirates)
  • Percy Tau (Al Ahly, Egypt)
  • Relebohile Mofokeng (Orlando Pirates)
  • Mihlali Mayambela (Aris Limassol, Cyprus)