Broos names Foster, Mofokeng in preliminary Bafana squad for ...

26 days ago

Relebohile Mofokeng (Philip Maeta/Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos has named Burnley striker Lyle Foster, Percy Tau and Pirates teenager Relebohile Mofokeng in his 36-man preliminary squad for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe next month.

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While youngster Mofokeng's name is a first on Broos' books, Foster was absent during Bafana's Africa Cup of Nations campaign due to mental health concerns. Tau returns to the squad after being rested during the FIFA Series in March.

Whether Foster's name makes it to the final squad remains to be seen, with Broos saying earlier this year he wanted to get to the bottom of the issues surrounding the striker's involvement in the national set-up.

South Africa resume their qualifying campaign away to the Super Eagles on Friday, 7 June (21:00 SA time) at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, before returning home to take on the Warriors.

The second match holds a massive significance as the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein (18:00) will be the first fixture in the province since the 2010 FIFA World Cup when Bafana beat France 2-1 in their final group stage match. 

That was also their last ever match at the global spectacle. Fast-forward 14 years later, they are vying for a ticket to the 2026 edition set to be staged in Mexico, Canada and the USA.

Currently, Bafana hold second spot in Group C following their 2-1 victory over Benin (sixth), but they had an unexpected setback in a 2-0 defeat to Rwanda (first) on a waterlogged pitch.

Nigeria (third), on the other hand, kicked off their campaign with two draws, securing a 1-1 result against Lesotho (fourth) and another 1-1 draw in Zimbabwe (fifth).

The 71-year-old Broos has continued to opt for familiarity as the core of his Africa Cup of Nations squad was named, but also included some fresh faces in the preliminary list.

Alongside Mofokeng, he has also named Stellenbosch FC star Devin Titus. 

The 19-year-old Mofokeng has played a starring role for the Buccaneers in what is only his second season in the first team, scoring four goals with six assists in his 35 appearances.

Titus has been an important figure at the Cape Winelands club, who will play in either the CAF Champions League or Confederatio Cup for the first time next season. The 22-year-old has taken to the field 37 times, scoring 12 while assisting three goals. 

There was also a spot for Titus' team-mate, defender Thabo Moloisane, who has been rock solid all season for the Maroons while Broos gave a shout to AmaZulu forward Tshepang Moremi as well.

As the domestic season comes to a close on 1 June following the Nedbank Cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates, Broos and the rest of the team are expected to assemble after the DStv Premiership campaign which ends next weekend.

Broos will first narrow down his squad to 23 players in the "coming days" as the statement revealed. 

Bafana Bafana 36-man preliminary squad for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe. (Image courtesy of SAFA)

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