South Africa men's football coach Hugo Broos
South Africa men’s football coach Hugo Broos who led Cameroon to the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations title

South Africa men’s football team’s newly appointed head coach Hugo Broos has admitted that qualifying for the 2022 World Cup will not be an easy task.

Instead the 62-year-old has set qualification for the 2023 African Cup of Nations and the 2026 World Cup as his priorities.

The Belgian was appointed last week to replace Molefi Ntseki who was fired after Bafana Bafana failed to qualify for next year’s Nations Cup finals in Cameroon.

“We will try to rebuild a successful team and you know when you are rebuilding there are always moments of weakness, so it can happen that we may not qualify for the World Cup,” Broos said.

“You also have to be realistic; it is not an easy group, you have Ghana again, and then two teams- Zimbabwe and Ethiopia who are dangerous countries.

“But the 2023 African Cup of Nations, if we don’t qualify for that you can ‘kill me’. And if we succeed in that, then I think we are on a good way and then 2026 World Cup has to be a must.”

The first competitive games in charge for the Nations Cup-winning coach will be South Africa’s opening group games in 2022 World Cup qualifying against neighbours Zimbabwe before returning home to play Ghana.

Those matches were due to be played in June but have been postponed to September so instead Bafana are due to play two friendlies next month but Broos will miss those games as he has to go back to Belgium for his second Covid-19 vaccination.

He revealed that one of his assistant coaches will be Cedomir ‘Cede’ Janevski , a former Yugoslavia and Macedonia international who is currently head coach of Olympiakos Nicosia in Cyprus.

He is expected to travel to South Africa after his club play Anorthosis Famagusta in the final of the Cypriot Cup this weekend.

A second assistant, who Broos has said will be a South African but is yet to be identified, will work with Janevski to take charge of the team during June’s international friendlies.

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