Bafana coach Hugo Broos: I don’t understand what happens with Percy Tau

Percy Tau was subbed off after another off-colour showing for Bafana against Nigeria in Uyo. Photo: BackpagePix

Percy Tau was subbed off after another off-colour showing for Bafana against Nigeria in Uyo. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Jun 14, 2024


Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos has come to the defence of one of his star players, Percy Tau, following huge criticism of his performances.

The Al Ahly attacker was crowned the CAF Inter-Club Player of the Year last December – but even that could not stop the buckets of insults that were to come his way over the last six months.

The 28-year-old forward was the subject of perhaps harsh judgement when South Africa exited the Africa Cup of Nations at the semi-final stage.

Tau was made to remember a glorious chance he missed in that game against Nigeria, something that would seemingly haunt him for months.

Speaking after Bafana’s recent match in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria, Broos jumped into the firing line for the ex-Mamelodi Sundowns man, who was subbed off after another off-colour showing in Uyo.

The Belgian mentor stated that he understood the difficult period Tau is going through, and hoped the support he receives from the group would be enough.

“The only thing that is important – and I hope he feels that – is he has all my confidence. That’s most important, because it’s not easy when they kill you on social media,” Broos said.

“It’s the worst thing in the world to say what you want about somebody. This is disgusting sometimes. I hope that’s what he feels from the group and the technical staff, and I hope it will be enough for Percy.

“I don’t understand what happens (with public opinion) with Percy Tau, really. Somebody told me people were again not so happy with the performance of Percy against Nigeria. There were a lot of critics for his performances at Afcon.”

He added that he felt too much of Bafana’s progression has been placed on the shoulders of the No 10, and urged everyone to “ease off his back” in the future.

“I think everybody puts so much weight on the shoulders of Percy. I said it already, maybe not in the right way, but you can’t make Percy a player who decides the game. He’s a good player, there’s no doubt about it,” said Broos.

“But everybody thinks Percy will give us the victory every game – he’s not that kind of player. I want to ask you not to expect too much from him.”

Tau was an unused substitute in Bafana’s 3-1 win over Zimbabwe in Bloemfontein on Tuesday, but Broos revealed that it was not due to his performance that he didn’t play, but rather an injury issue.

“Percy is injured … The treatment that we had didn’t help so much, so we went to the hospital for him to have a scan, and yes, there is a muscular injury. So, he couldn’t play,” he said.

“But again, he wanted to be on the bench. Again, that shows how this group is. So, it’s important, the guy was on the pitch. He is even happier than everyone else.”