Broos – Foster asked not to be picked in Bafana Afcon squad
'Three weeks ago Foster wrote to Safa saying he didn't want to assist at the Afcon, because of his mental problems," said the Bafana head coach.
Lyle Foster during the Bafana Bafana Press Conference on the11 September 2023 at Orlando Stadium © Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix
Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has confirmed that Burnley striker Lyle Foster is definitely out of the Africa Cup of Nations finals next year, saying the 24 year-old’s omission is a “medical decision.”
He also revealed that Foster had written to the South African Football Association three weeks ago, asking not to go.
Foster was named in Broos’ provisional Afcon squad, but was left out of the final 23-man squad that the Bafana head coach named on Thursday.
The 24 year-old was given just under two months off the field of play by Burnley to get help with mental health issues, but has played in their last three Premier League games.
“I have had a lot of contact in the last few weeks with Burnley, especially with the coach, Vincent Kompany,” said Broos.
“At first they (Burnley) said ‘forget it, he will not be at the Afcon’, but we selected him in the provisional squad because you never know.’
“I was surprised when he played a half (Foster came on as a half time substitute at home to Everton, and has subsequently started games against Fulham and Liverpool)
“I phoned Kompany and I said ‘what is this? I don’t understand’. He explained that he (Foster) had played 45 minutes, but he was not ready (for Bafana), there was still a danger of the same (mental health) problem.
‘The risk and danger is still there’
“Our doctors had contact with the Burnley doctors and we got a medical report that it is impossible for Foster to be at the Afcon. The risk and danger is still there, if it goes in a bad direction with Lyle, he will go back to where he started two months ago. This is a medical decision. It is not my decision.
“I was also surprised to see last weekend he played again but this is a medical decision. Three weeks ago Foster wrote to Safa saying he didn’t want to assist at the Afcon, because of his mental problems. I am not happy he is not there because he is a very good striker but … I can’t do anything about it.
“I spoke with Kompany for … nearly an hour and he explained … he (Foster) still needs help 24 hours, seven days a week and we can’t give him that during the Afcon. He (Kompany) even told me in a letter that when he (Foster) saw he was on the preliminary list, he was agitated, he was not happy to be there. Those are not my words, those are the words of Kompany and I have it in writing. It is surprising for me but Foster will not be at the Afcon.”
Goalkeepers: Ronwen Williams, Veli Mothwa, Ricardo Goss
Defenders: Nyiko Mobbie, Grant Kekana, Terrence Mashego, NkosinathiSibisi, Aubrey Modiba, Siyanda Xulu, Mothobi Mvala
Midfielders: Khuliso Mudau, Teboho Mokoena, Sphephelo Sithole, Jayden Adams, Thabang Monare, Thapelo Maseko
Strikers: Thapelo Morena, Themba Zwane, Zakhele Lepasa, Oswin Appollis, Mihlali Mayambela, Percy Tau, Evidence Makgopa