Bafana out of the world cup with pride

BAFANA Bafana’s preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup have been a resounding success. This success is measured both in terms of the team’s performance on the field in the way they have represented the country in playing with pride and passion as well as off the field in terms of the measurable and noticeable impact which has been made in bringing South Africans together.Our Rainbow Nation has become a colourful blend of yellow and green as the team went for 12 games without loss. It was this great performance that set the tone for the euphoric atmosphere that is presently gripping this great nation. All our visitors, be they fans or players, have found a football loving nation that is “feeling” the spirit of the tournament.

Bafana played a major role in creating the perfect conditions that has made South Africa the envy of the world. The world football community feels indebted to Bafana for making this the most enjoyable World Cup finals in the 80 year history of the tournament.Addressing Bafana after a historic 2-1 victory over France in Bloemfontein; President of the Republic of South Africa Jacob Zuma congratulated the players for their gallant effort. “You have made our country proud and the Nation is proud of your achievement. The existing carnival atmosphere in the country is because you have represented all of us with pride, winning against France in an official competition is an achievement you should be proud off. In tournaments like this, sometimes you win and sometimes you loose. You gave it your best; and now it’s time to enjoy the World Cup. We have built a solid foundation for future tournaments, and you can count on the country’s support all the way”.

“Our efforts are not over. Our challenge is to continue to host a unique African FIFA World Cup experience by being great hosts, active supporters and loyal fans,” said SAFA CEO Leslie Sedibe.“We know that our boys themselves are bitterly disappointed right now at bowing out of this historic tournament. However, for the millions of patriotic South Africans that have followed the progress of team from humble beginnings to a competitive unit, a chapter has been written in our football,” he said.Today we have a team that competes and beats countries that are ranked much higher than them. The stadiums have become a breath of fresh air as fans snap up tickets minutes after going on sale. “For that, we cannot thank the people of South Africa enough” said Sedibe.

It is not easy to carry the hopes and aspirations of an expectant 48 million people on your shoulders with the rest of the world’s attention also fixed on you. The opening game against Mexico was not only a test of the character of the team but that of the entire continent. When Bafana put on that splendid display to draw 1-1, Africa immediately won its respect from even those who doubted our capabilities to host a tournament of this magnitude.“The South African Football Association on behalf of the continent therefore express its profound gratitude for all the hard work that the team in placing Africa on the map. It is one of the few moments in sport when we can justifiable see victory in defeat when taking stock of the bigger picture of your contribution” said SAFA President, Kirsten Nematandani.

SAFA invested heavily in this world cup. It is an investment well spent considering the positives outcomes that have already started pouring to our country and continent. Magnificent football facilities, a state of the art transport networks, security, and tourism opportunities will be a lasting legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup for generations to come. “Development projects such as Football for Hope and 1Goal project that FIFA has introduced to South Africa and the rest of the continent will ensure that the African football improves and more children enjoy the right to education” said Nematandani.“The humanity of Africa has already touched the whole world. It is imperative that we continue to be great hosts and rally behind the remaining teams. There is still so much more to enjoy of this tournament as we watch the exciting drama unfold that will culminate in the best team winning the first FIFA World Cup on African soil” Nematandani commented.

“We call on South Africans to continue what we have begun as a nation. Fly your flag for South Africa and continue to participate in this FIFA World Cup as we show the world that we are able to deliver on our promise of a benchmark setting, unique world cup experience,” said Sedibe“We wish to thank our coach, Carlos Parreira and the entire technical team together with the players for their efforts” concluded Nematandani.

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