Head coach of the South African national team, Hugo Broos, is confident that his team will secure a spot in the 2026 World Cup following the preliminary draw.
South Africa have yet to feature in the World Cup since they hosted the World in 2010, missing the 2014, 2018, and 2022 World Cup tournaments
The Bafana Bafana were seeded in the same Group with Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Benin, Rwanda and Lesotho in the draw for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers conducted in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, on Thursday, 13 July 2023.
Speaking after the draw, the Belgian-based coach acknowledged the importance of the away games to be played by his troops, which he considered difficult.
But, he revealed the possibility of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup tournament with his team being better than they were in previous years.
Ghana, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco, and Cameroon flew the African flag in the 2022 World Cup tournament, leaving South Africa out for the third time since hosting the 2010 World Cup tournament.
However, Broos commenting on the draw, is optimistic that his team would do well to break the jinx, “The away games will be very important in a group like ours, but now a little bit more because we have five difficult away games for different reasons,” he told Safa.net.
He added:“I think it is possible for South Africa to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup first in the group. If you see the progress we have made in the last two years, you cannot compare those qualifiers (for the 2026 World Cup) with the qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. We are better now, we have a better team now. So okay, I am confident.”
The World Cup qualifiers are slated to kickstart in November for the African countries, and the Super Eagles of Nigeria would as well be hoping to secure a ticket for the 2026 World Cup, having lost the previous to Ghana.