Jonty Mark
Football Editor
2 minute read
8 Nov 2021
5:00 pm

Bafana’s Broos blasts decision to grant Ghana ‘paradise’ away day

Jonty Mark

“This is really not fair,” said Broos.

Hugo Broos is not happy that Ghana are playing Ethiopia in Soweto. Picture: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images.

Hugo Broos believes it is not fair that Ghana are allowed to play their ‘away’ 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia on the green baize of Orlando Stadium, when his own side had to face hostile conditions in Bahir Dar in their meeting with Ethiopia only last month.

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The Confederation of African Football have subsequently declared both the Bahir Dar stadium and Ethiopia’s traditional home stadium in Addis Ababa unfit to host World Cup qualifiers, and Ethiopia have struck a deal to host the game in Orlando.

This creates a bizarre situation where Ghana, just a point behind Bafana Bafana in Group G, will be playing Ethiopia at Orlando Stadium on Thursday just hours before Bafana host Zimbabwe at FNB Stadium.

The Ghanaian Football Association are reportedly upset by the decision to play the game in South Africa as it is the home of their Group G rivals, but it is fair to say the Black Stars will have a better surface to play on than they would in Bahir Dar.

Broos complained bitterly about the pitch even though his side managed to win 3-1 in Ethiopia, who they then beat 1-0 in Johannesburg to maintain their lead in Group G.

A win over Zimbabwe will be enough for South Africa to win Group G and get into the final play-offs for a spot in Qatar, if Ghana lose to Ethiopia, or if Bafana get at least a point in Ghana on Sunday.

“This is really not fair,” said Broos, on the decision to play Ghana’s game at Orlando Stadium.

“You let two countries (Zimbabwe also had to play in Bahir Dar, and lost 1-0) play in a very bad location, at a very bad stadium on a very bad pitch. Luckily for us we did it (won). Suddenly Ghana have to play a game in paradise, with a direct flight from Accra to Johannesburg.

“I don’t understand how Fifa approved this. It can happen only in Africa. When I see that other countries can play every game at home, because an opponent doesn’t have an approved stadium (Morocco are playing every single one of their Group I qualifiers, home and away, in Morocco), it is not fair.

“We have it in hand, we are still one point ahead.  But it is easier for them to have a good location like Johannesburg,” added Broos, who had to call up SuperSport United midfielder Jesse Donn as a late replacement in his squad for the injured Yusuf Maart.