Broos names Foster in final Bafana squad, says ‘health problems are over’

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos. File photo
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos. File photo
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has named Lyle Foster in his final 23-man squad for next month's huge 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria away and Zimbabwe at home.

Broos continued to overlook in-form Orlando Pirates striker Tshegofatso Mabasa, the Belgian deciding to stick to the strikers he's worked with.

Bafana face Nigeria in Uyo on June 7 and Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein on June 11.

Mabasa ended top scorer in the Premiership with 16 goals, one ahead of Stellenbosch FC's Iqraam Rayners, who got the nod alongside Burnley's Foster, Percy Tau, Themba Zwane, Oswin Appollis, Patrick Maswanganyi, Elias Mokwana and Relebogile Mofokeng in the forwards.

Foster was left out of the Bafana squad that won bronze at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast in January and February after asking to be omitted due to health problems that kept him out for seven weeks at Burnley while he sought treatment.

Burnley were relegated from the Premier League weeks ago.

Asked about the uncertainty over Foster's future with the national team seemingly being a thing of the past now, Broos said he had discussions with Burnley before including the striker again.

“His health problems are over,” the coach explained as he announced his squad on SABC Sport.

“And I know I was at one stage very unhappy because we got the news Lyle was not ready and had a mental problem and suddenly he started playing with Burnley [ahead of Afcon].

“So we had contact with [the club in] England again and they said, 'Yeah, but he's not ready'. And also Lyle wrote a letter to us that he did not want to go to Afcon. That's why he was not with us in Ivory Coast.

“After that, for [the friendlies against Andorra and Algeria] in March I made contact again and again they said, 'No — it's better you don't call him because he's still not 100%'.

“But he still played every game for Burnley, so it was not easy to accept that. But OK, I followed the medical reasons for why I couldn't take him.

“But now, everything was OK. I phoned him [Foster] and we had a good chat. I called [then still Burnley manager Vincent] Kompany and we had a good chat. So there are no problems any more and that's the reason Lyle is with us again.” 

News broke on Thursday that Kompany has left Burnley to join German giants Bayern Munich.

Broos named a 36-player preliminary squad on May 15.

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 squad


  • Ronwen Williams (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Ricardo Goss (SuperSport United)
  • Veli Mothwa (AmaZulu)


  • Nyiko Mobbie (Sekhukhune United)
  • Thapelo Morena (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Nkosinathi Sibisi (Orlando Pirates)
  • Aubrey Modiba (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Mothobi Mvala (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Khuliso Mudau (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Siyabonga Ngezana (FCSB, Romania)
  • Grant Kekana (Mamelodi Sundowns)


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


  • Themba Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns)
  • Oswin Appollis (Polokwane City)
  • Patrick Maswanganyi (Orlando Pirates)
  • Iqraam Rayners (Stellenbosch FC)
  • Elias Mokwana (Sekhukhune United)
  • Lyle Foster (Burnley, England)
  • Percy Tau (Al Ahly, Egypt)
  • Relebohile Mofokeng (Orlando Pirates)



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