Bruce was appointed in May 2021 after Bafana failed to qualify for the 2021 Nations Cup. He could not help Bafana qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, but managed to keep his job because he had a short time with the team after replacing Molefe Nitske.
The 2026 World Cup will see nine guaranteed places for African teams, up from five in the form of 32 teams. The tenth team from the continent can qualify via the playoffs.
Bafana was in pot B in the draw, so he was scheduled to be tied against one of the continent’s heavyweights.
The last time Bafana played was in the 2010 World Cup, which was hosted by South Africa. They have only qualified for the 1998 and 2002 World Cups since their return to international football in 1992.
2026 World Cup Qualifiers, Group C: Nigeria, South Africa, Benin, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Lesotho
Group A: Egypt, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Djibouti
Group B: Senegal, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritania, Togo, Sudan, South Sudan
Group D: Angola, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Libya, Swaziland, Mauritius
Group E: Morocco, Zambia, Congo, Tanzania, Niger, Eritrea
Sixth group: Ivory Coast, Gabon, Kenya, Gambia, Burundi, Seychelles
Group G: Uganda, Botswana, Algeria, Somalia, Guinea, Mozambique
Group H: Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Malawi, Liberia, Sao Tome and Principe
The first group: Mali, Ghana, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Comoros and Chad