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News: ‘It wasn’t fair what people did to Percy Tau’ – Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos on the player’s absence

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos revealed that he decided against selecting Percy Tau to his latest squad to protect the attacker after being “really down” after the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) due to harsh criticism and online abuse.

Percy Tau of South Africa reacts in disappointment after defeat during the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations semifinal between Nigeria and South Africa held at Peace Stadium
Image: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos revealed that he decided against selecting Percy Tau to his latest squad to protect the attacker after being “really down” after the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) due to harsh criticism and online abuse.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone

Tau was a notable absentee when Broos announced his 23-man squad to take part in the upcoming Fifa Series in Algeria.

In the Series, Bafana will be up against European minnows Andorra and African giants Algeria.

Tau was vilified by South African supporters on social media as he struggled for form during the Afcon campaign in Ivory Coast in January and February.

As one of the big-name players in the Bafana setup, locals had high expectations from the Al Ahly star player, but he never hit top gear as Broos’ men came back home with a bronze medal.

The criticism began after the player missed a penalty in the group stages opening game which ended as a 2-0 defeat to Mali.

“It wasn’t fair what the people did to Percy. Not at all,” Broos said.

“You can criticise someone but the way they attacked Percy on social media and also in the press is not fair. He was really down at the end of Afcon, and I said to him ‘I will call you later.’

“So, I called him, and we had a good chat and I said to him ‘It’s not the moment for you to come back to South Africa (Bafana) because it’s too fresh.

“I told him ‘If you played a bad game in those friendlies, it would be worse. So, stay there until everything goes down,’ and in four months it will be gone, and he can come back to join us,” the Belgian said.

Despite all that, Tau still wanted to be part of the SA contingent that would travel to Algeria.

“But he wanted to come, I told him no, I won’t be calling him for these games. I will call him in June again (for the Fifa World Cup qualifiers),” Broos said.

In the Fifa Series, Bafana will face Andorra on 21 March before wrapping up the three-team tournament against Algeria on 26 March.

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