Hugo Broos says he decided to leave Percy Tau out of his Bafana squad for two upcoming friendlies to protect the player.

Tau recently claimed his eighth trophy with Egyptian club Al Ahly with the 2-0 defeat of Zamalek in the Egypt Cup final.

This comes just weeks after South Africa ended in third place at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, where it is fair to say that fans didn’t see the best of Tau.

Bafana are set to face Andorra and Algeria in international friendlies later this month but Tau will play no part.

Broos’ side take on Andorra on March 21, and Algeria on March 26, both at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Algiera.

The Bafana boss explained in the Citizen: “At the end of the AFCON Percy was mentally broken.

“But ok, we know social media can kill someone. I talked to him and he said it was not a problem but I knew it was a problem.

“I called him a week later and we talked and I told him I would not call him up. He said he wanted to come but I said ‘don’t come, stay there, until everything is calm’. If he comes and plays a bad game it will start again, that is why Percy is not with us. 

“It is enough after the AFCON, he will be ready in June (for the World Cup qualifiers) And we will see a fresh Percy Tau.”