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BREAKING: Lyle Foster, Percy Tau make Bafana Bafana return as Hugo Broos names preliminary squad for 2026 World Cup qualifiers

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo has announced his preliminary squad in preparation of the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in June against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Hugo Broos - Bafana Bafana Coach

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo has announced his preliminary squad in preparation of the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in June against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

The Bafana mentor named a 36-man team to access before he narrows down the team to 23 players for the crunchy ties on the 5th and 8th of June.

South Africa will travel to the Super Eagles before hosting The Warriors at the Free State Stadium. 

Broos included Burnley striker Lyle Foster after he missed the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) following his mental health challenges.

Foster will now get a chance to add to his 16 Bafana caps if he is retained in the trimmed squad.

The 23-year-old’s team recently lost their English Premier League status, and there are suggestions that he may remain in the Premier League instead of going down to the Championship with the Vincent Kompany-led side.

Al Ahly star, Percy Tau, also received the no after Broos opted to leave him in post-AFCON friendlies against Andorra and Algeria this past March as the Belgian’s rationale behind omitting Tau was to protect him.

Tau, one of South Africa’s talismans, did not have the best of AFCONs and was subject to a lot of criticism.

READ: Rulani Mokwena pours cold water on possible discussion with Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos over management of Mamelodi Sundowns stars

Meanwhile, Broos decided to stick to his tried and tested Evidence Makgopa, leaving behind his Orlando Pirates teammate Tshegofatso Mabasa, who is currently leading the charts in the race for the DStv Premiership Golden Boot with 15 strikes.

Iqraam Rayners, who is hot on the heels of Mabasa with 14 goals, has been rewarded with a place in the penciled team, while Pirates teenage sensation Relebohile Mofokeng has been named in the senior team for the first time in his career.

Broos is expected to name his final squad in the next few days, presumably before the Nedbank Cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and the Buccaneers on June 1 at the Mbombela Stadium.

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