Let’s give Bafana a chance – Mbalula

2013-01-16 14:25

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sports minister Fikile Mbalula is confident the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) will be a success, despite initial hiccups in the organising of the tournament that kicks off in Johannesburg on Saturday.

While Mbalula believed the Local Organising Committee (LOC) could have approached issues such as ticketing differently, he was adamant that stadiums would be filled.

“I don’t draw strength from lamenting the difficulties; we have all observed that things could have been done differently,” Mbalula said at a briefing in Pretoria today on the state of readiness for the tournament.

“To mobilise South African people for a soccer match, it doesn’t take a difficult merger of mobilisation. Tell South Africans the date and the time and where to get the tickets, they will be there.”

The LOC had come under scrutiny after reports of poor ticket sales and processing, and a weak marketing campaign ahead of the continental football showpiece.

Mbalula said the arrangements for fans to purchase tickets were overcomplicated, as supporters had to buy their tickets in advance, via a specific process.

The ticketing problems had since been cleared up, Mbalula said, and he called on South Africans to get behind the tournament, held for the second time on South African soil.

“We are on track, largely, and I am happy with the response we are getting and the mobilisation that we put out there and people responding to the excitement.”

He said he believed the tournament would leave a legacy similar to what the country had experienced following the 2010 World Cup.

“The tournament would be viewed across the globe, and the spin-off for that is that tourism would increase, and there would be about 10 000 temporary jobs created,” Mbalula said.

“Social cohesion, bringing the nation together, among others, is going to be important. Inspiring the youth will be the biggest spin-off for the country.”

Mbalula said a plan had been put in place to clamp down on match-fixing, but he would not divulge details, saying only that referees would be treated in a different way.

Turning his attention to Bafana Bafana, he hoped the team would rise to the occasion when they took to the field in their opening match against Cape Verde in Johannesburg on Saturday.

He said South African supporters tended to judge the team even before the start of matches and appealed to fans to rather get behind Bafana Bafana.

“Let’s give them a chance: let’s support the team and let’s look where they go,” he said.

“The boys have been spoken to by more than one person so they understand. Let’s release them.”

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?

Motorcycle deaths are on track to decline for a second year in the US thanks to a so far - on bikes - little-used road safety accessory.

 

Stay safe

US biker deaths down: What's the secret?
Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The right brain is emphasised today and it is easy for you to fly into the world of imagination and fantasy with ease. You may...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.