Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos says it cannot continue that African countries play their home games outside their own borders because their home venues don’t meet CAF’s minimum requirements.
CAF has banned about 17 nations from playing home games in the ongoing 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, with Lesotho suffering this ignominy and Zimbabwe, who played their home matches away in Group C.
When Zimbabwe drew 1-1 with top-ranked side Nigeria on Sunday through a stunning strike by Walter Musona, it was played in Rwanda’s Huye Stadium in Butare.
Lesotho, who also held Nigeria in their first game in the qualifiers, will be playing their home game against Benin at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Tuesday (15:00)
Broos said the best way to solve this issue would be to ban nations from qualifiers, if they can’t meet the required standards after a certain period of time, which would speed up the process of fixing home venues because.
“This one thing I don’t understand in African football is that home games are not home games,” said Broos.
“I think Zimbabwe will play their home games in South Africa, so we have a little advantage for that game.
“So, what I saw in the past, for example, Liberia played their home game in Morocco, I’m very sorry but this is not correct. I think CAF must do something about this.
“I know it is not easy for those countries to have appropriate stadiums because it is something about money, but you can easily say, ‘in five years, if you don’t have a stadium, then you don’t play CAF games anymore, you don’t play AFCON qualifiers and that of the World Cup’.
“But if you say nothing and those things happen, then the competition is not 100% correct anymore. It is not up to us, but it is the guys up there who have decided this and I hope one day they will decide by putting a period to say, ‘Okay, if you have not decided on the stadium that you need to have, I’m very sorry, you had those three or four or five years, finished, no qualifiers anymore – no for World Cup or AFCON’. Maybe then, they will do something.”
The former Cameroon coach said Liberia, who played their home games in Morocco in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, when they had an opportunity to qualify for the AFCON finals next year, suddenly their home venue in Monrovia was quickly fixed, leaving Broos baffled how suddenly this was the case when it was clear they had no intention of playing at home.
“You saw what happened in Liberia [in March against Bafana], suddenly, they felt that they had a chance to qualify and suddenly there was a stadium. At the beginning of the competition, there was no stadium, because they played their games in Morocco.
“You see the pressure is there that they can do it. I hope one day CAF can decide that ‘Look guys, that is that, but it is up to you’.”
The challenge in Africa is that not many member associations own stadiums because they rely on the government. Even Bafana, despite South Africa having hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup, doesn’t have its own stadium.