South African Football Association (Safa) President Kirsten Nematandani has urged the country to rally behind Bafana Bafana in their quest for qualification for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.
The Safa boss is in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to give moral support to Bafana Bafana, who will be taking on the Central African Republic (CAR) today.
The qualifier will be played at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo today.
Kick-off is at 4pm.
“This is a very important fixture for the entire country. We need to get all the points in the remaining matches to enhance our chances of going to Brazil.
“In our group, we are the only country that participated in the last World Cup and qualifying would, for us, be continuity,” said Nematandani.
“We are also the only country that has played in a World Cup in the group, so with the experience we have we cannot let this one slip by. The boys also need to qualify to make the country proud and uplift their own careers by playing in such a prestigious tournament.”
The Safa President has also appealed for support from all South Africans.
“We need to rally behind the team as they fly the flag on behalf of the nation. It is at time likes these that the support of the country will be crucial. I have no doubt in my mind that the boys will do well.”
The match will be attended by, among others, Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Issa Hayatou and the SA High Commissioner accredited to Cameroon and the CAR, Her Excellency Ms Zanele Makina.
Nematandani has also brushed aside the events of early in the week when Bafana Bafana where unable to fly to Yaoundé on time due to cancelled flights.
“That is something we don’t want to talk about as it can happen to anyone, and bear in mind that there were other passengers who were also affected by the turn of events which had nothing to do with the preparations of the team.
“That is all behind us now and what pleases us is that the boys are in Yaoundé focusing on what they came here for.
“Cameroon has been good to us and we want to assure all South Africans that the team is in safe hands,” said Nematandani.
“I watched the boys at training and they showed a lot of energy. They were in high spirits, which shows they have put the whole thing behind them – which is what matters.
“We ask all South Africans to also think positively rather than focus on what happened. People might talk about the risk of travelling by road, but having looked at our options that was the best solution to ensure the team prepared well as we are here for football. We are aware of the risk we took but it was arrived at it cautiously.”
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