New coach Hugo Broos told South Africans on Wednesday that “you can kill” him if the team fail to reach the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in the Ivory Coast.
Bafana Bafana (The Boys) missed out on the next Cup of Nations, scheduled in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, which triggered the sacking of former boss Molefi Ntseki.
Belgian Broos, who guided outsiders Cameroon to the 2017 Cup of Nations title in Gabon, replaced Ntseki and held his first press conference at the national football association offices in Soweto.
The 62-year-old admitted that qualifying for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would be difficult, especially as he wants to rebuild the squad, using younger players.
But securing a place at the 24-team finals of the 2023 Cup of Nations was non-negotiable, stressed the 69-year-old former Belgium defender.
“If we are not qualified for that, you can kill me,” he said with a deadpan expression. “I know this country is looking forward to success.”
After decades of apartheid-induced isolation, South Africa returned to international football in 1992 and won the Cup of Nations four years later on home soil.
Second and third places at the following two editions in Burkina Faso and Ghana/Nigeria led most South Africans to believe the country would become an African powerhouse.