Troussier admits '98 Bafana mistakes

SA National Teams

Philippe Troussier has acknowledged his errors during his ill-fated stint as the South Africa national team head coach during their FIFA World Cup debut at France 1998.

Troussier holds a decorated CV in African football after a famed stint with Ivory Coast giants Asec Mimosas in which he won three league titles in three consecutive unbeaten campaigns, leading Nigeria to France 1998 World Cup qualification and Burkina Faso to the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations in the same year.

Scroll through the gallery above to see rare images of Bafana Bafana's '98 World Cup campaign

However, his short stint with the South Africa national team left several unanswered questions to this day and Troussier's appointment is still considered as one of the South African Football Association's (SAFA) biggest errors since readmission.

The former Kaizer Chiefs coach led Bafana Bafana to their first-ever World Cup in his homeland with what was considered as the nation's golden generation but failed to secure a single win, while his introduction of Pierre Issa to the squad was widely ridiculed by fans after his disastrous display in the opening defeat to hosts France.

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And in an exclusive interview in the new August edition of KICK OFF Magazine, Troussier has come clean about the misconceptions over his character, not understanding the sensitive climate of a wounded nation after the apartheid era, and how his abrasive style of management that brought him success elsewhere divided a once-unified national team after the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations triumph.

"I was used to building a united, aggressive, and efficient team," Troussier explained when asked about management style.

"But over time I can now understand that this management style could hurt some players and even create the impression of pretending to be an ugly Afrikaner."

The Frenchman, who is now in his 37th year of coaching and currently working with the Vietnam under-19 team after a stint in the Chinese Super League, also opened up about his mandate from SAFA and being hired by Irvin Khoza.

In order to access the full explosive interview in the latest KICK OFF, you can buy your digital copy here or find it in selected stores countrywide for only R16.

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