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Bafana Bafana Coach Broos Names Preliminary Squad for 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers



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Bafana Bafana‘s head coach, Hugo Broos, has unveiled a 36-man preliminary squad for the upcoming 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe. The South African national team is gearing up to face Nigeria’s Super Eagles in Uyo before returning home to host Zimbabwe at the historic Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

The clash with Nigeria, scheduled for June 7th at the Godswill Akpabio Stadium, will set the stage for an intense battle as both teams seek crucial points in the qualifiers. This will be followed by a highly-anticipated match against Zimbabwe on June 11th at the Free State Stadium, marking a significant return of Bafana Bafana to the venue where they made memorable history during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Notable past victories, including the triumph against France, have imbued the Free State Stadium with a sense of nostalgia and anticipation as fans eagerly await the chance to witness Bafana Bafana’s performance on home turf once again.

The exciting prospect of securing a spot in the 2026 FIFA World Cup, set to be hosted across Mexico, Canada, and the USA, adds extra importance to these upcoming qualifiers for both South Africa and their opposition.

In the preliminary squad, a mix of experienced and emerging talent has been selected by Coach Broos, with familiar names like Percy Tau and new faces like Relebohile Mofokeng from Pirates making the cut. Burnley‘s Lyle Foster, absent during the Africa Cup of Nations, returns to contention, adding depth to the attacking options.

Youngsters like Devin Titus of Stellenbosch FC and Thabo Moloisane of AmaZulu have also received nods, showcasing Broos’ willingness to integrate fresh talent into the squad. As the domestic season concludes with the Nedbank Cup final between Mamelodi Sundowns and Pirates, the players are set to assemble for a pivotal training camp ahead of the qualifiers.

The final 23-man squad will soon be announced as Broos evaluates his players and strategizes the best lineup for the crucial matches against formidable opponents. South African football fans are eagerly anticipating the team’s performance in these critical fixtures, hoping for success on the road to the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

Rachel Adams

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