Lyle Foster Burnley FC - Vincent Kompany
Lyle Foster at Burnley FC. Image from Twitter@KamoMotecwane

Home » Burnley FC responds to Broos over Lyle Foster frustration

Burnley FC responds to Broos over Lyle Foster frustration

Burnley FC manager, Vincent Kompany has responded to Hugo Broos after he voiced his frustration over Foster’s AFCON absence.

16-02-24 18:00
Lyle Foster Burnley FC - Vincent Kompany
Lyle Foster at Burnley FC. Image from Twitter@KamoMotecwane

Last year, Burnley FC formally announced the signing of Bafana Bafana’s Lyle Foster on a mega deal, but just prior to the Afcon tournament, the South African star took a break due to ‘citing ‘mental health issues’ and was ultimately unavailable for the SA side.

Bafana coach Hugo Broos has now explained that they were more than happy to allow Foster all the necessary support and time off, but frustration grew when the playmaker then returned to action for Burnley after South Africa were told he wasn’t available for selection.

Yet, Burnely FC boss Vincent Kompany has now responded again, insisting there were very legitimate reasons behind the circumstances.

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“I will explain it again very calmly. Physical fitness and mental fitness are two very different things. You can be physically fit but you can also mentally be in a position where it’s not a possibility for you to go away to a tournament for a month, if you’re not in the right headspace or you don’t have the capacity to deal with that.

“We’ve been very open about it. You come out of the rehab clinic, you’re dealing with a problem that is beyond football. It’s life.

“We were just part of his rehabilitation plan. It’s his environment, he comes in through the doors, he’s with people of his age, friends as well, not just colleagues. He doesn’t have friends outside the club, he’s come from abroad. His social support system is the club.

“The timing of him returning to play or not, it’s absolutely not our decision. It’s seeing what happens and seeing if he feels ready to do it. The first thing we did was remove him completely out of first-team football. We got care for him,” the Burnley manager added as he sought to defend the Lyle Foster situation.

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“We took a hit for it. It doesn’t matter if we took a hit in a period where we could have used him. If he had said he needed another month, another two months, another three months, we would have gone along with that.

“But we are part of his rehabilitation, we’re his support system. I can explain it again and again and again and I will do so by the way, because I expect this question to come again.

“I believe we sent documentation but we have documentation available for anybody that has the authority to look into it. We can share that, it’s not a problem. Everything is documented.

“We went to great lengths to try and explain the situation to all governing bodies. FIFA, Premier League, FIFPro, PFA, South African FA, the manager, we tried to explain.

“But I expect I will have to explain again, so I will explain again. In a couple of months I will do it again and again until people understand… if your starting position is the care of the player, then you find the right answers. That’s the only thing we did.”

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“Honestly, I am not happy, I knew from the beginning what the problems were,” Broos said, as quoted by TimesLive when discussing Foster’s absence from the Bafana team. “I knew and I was understanding [of the situation] because I spoke a few times with Burnley coach Vincent Kompany. 

“Our doctor spoke to his counterpart at Burnley. We put everything together and decided it was not a good thing to call Foster for Afcon. Lyle Foster himself wrote a letter to say, ‘Please don’t call me because I am not ready to play Afcon’.

“But then he starts playing for his club and he plays every game for 90 minutes. I am asking myself why it wasn’t possible for him to come with us to Ivory Coast.

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“This is my frustration, but I will not blame anyone. I am frustrated when I see him play because we could have used him at Afcon. He is a good striker and he scores. If we had Lyle we were going to be much stronger.”