‘Only no. 1 is important’ – Broos slams AFCON 2024 playoff match

South Africa coach Hugo Broos has said he does not see the essence of playing a third/fourth place playoff in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2024).

Broos and his side fell short of reaching the final of the tournament following a painful penalty shootout defeat to rivals Nigeria in the semi-finals.

Bafana Bafana held their own against the Super Eagles and came close to snatching a late win before the game stretched into extra time after a 1-1 draw.

With both teams unable to find the winner after 120 minutes, the lottery of penalties separated them as Nigeria won 4-2 in the shootout.

Broos says AFCON 2024 playoff should be cancelled  

South Africa’s defeat means they will now be facing DR Congo, who lost against hosts Ivory Coast in the other AFCON 2024 semi-final clash, in the third/fourth place playoff.

The game will take place on Saturday, February 10, at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium in Abidjan, with both teams vying for a bronze medal.

Broos, however, believes competing for third place is unnecessary for two teams that are still reeling from failing to qualify for the final of the AFCON and said he wished the fixture was abolished.

“If you ask my advice, this game should not be played. The most important thing in a tournament like this is No. 1. If you are No. 3 or No. 4 tomorrow, for me it's exactly the same because this is only for specifics. No. 1 is important, No. 1 they will always remember,” Broos said at a pre-match press conference.

Bafana facing injury crisis for final AFCON 2024 clash

The Bafana Bafana boss also lamented the injuries that have hit his players after their imperious performance for over 120 minutes against Nigeria in midweek.

He noted that “three or four players” were suffering from injuries after picking up knocks in the last game against the Super Eagles.

“I hope that my players will be recovered enough from the knockdown they got on Wednesday,” Broos lamented.

Meanwhile, Percy Tau is also a huge doubt for the third/fourth place playoff game against DR Congo after missing training on Friday.

Avatar photo
Emmanuel Ayamga

Emmanuel Ayamga is an African sports writer, with bylines on DW, Al Jazeera, World Soccer Magazine and These Football Times.