‘Only a fool doesn’t change their mind’, says Khumalo after Bafana AFCON success
'How we spoke about Hugo when he came to our shores, it was just individual opinions. We had a right to say those things,' said Khumalo.
Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Doctor Khumalo. Picture:Gallo Images/Oupa Bopape
Bafana Bafana legend Doctor Khumalo says he is happy that Bafana coach Hugo Broos has proved himself, despite getting a lot of criticism when he was appointed senior national team coach.
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Khumalo, however, says it was within South Africans’ rights to question the appointment of Broos during that time, as football is a game of opinions.
Having been appointed Bafana coach in 2021, Broos managed to steer Bafana to a very successful (Caf) Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) campaign, leading the team to third place at the tournament after beating Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 6-5 on penalties following an exciting encounter, which ended in a goalless draw at the Stade Felix Houphouet-Boigny in Abidjan on Saturday.
This was a great achievement for the South African national men’s team, seeing that the last time they achieved this feat was back in the year 2000.
Khumalo, a 1996 AFCON winner with a Bafana, is proud of the national team’s achievement, and says Broos also had to change his mind regarding players that had to be in squad.
“Football is a game of opinions, any individual has their own opinion. How we spoke about Hugo when he came to our shores, it was just individual opinions,” said Khumalo after the live viewing of the match catered for by Bafana sponsors 10Bet on Saturday.
“We had a right to say those things or whatever because at the end of the day, we can’t just allow someone who doesn’t know what South Africa or South African football is all about (to just come in),”
“Why is it now we can’t say ‘only a fool doesn’t change his mind’? Because we knew what we were talking about. I’m just glad that he came to the party, and the very same players he was undermining he is now praising them.”
‘South Africa wake up’
Khumalo added that its time for Bafana supporters to rally behind the team and Broos especially having done so well in the continental tournament after a very long time, referencing Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment before South Africa’s freedom from apartheid.
“As an individual, I want to say South Africa wake up, it’s time for you guys to understand that Madiba (Mandela) spent 27-years in jail. We spent 24 years in isolation, not qualifying for the semifinals. That’s something that we can not afford to experience again.”