Bafana must beat Brazil – ambassador

2012-09-06 08:50

South African Ambassador to Brazil Mphakama Mbete urged Bafana Bafana to beat Brazil when they meet in an international friendly match here tomorrow.

Mbete was speaking at a dinner where he hosted the team and the South African entourage at the Fogo De Chao Churrascaria Brazilian Steakhouse and he told the players that if ever there was a time to beat Brazil, it was now.

“I don’t remember us beating Brazil in the recent past,” he said.

“But from what I hear from the public to soccer commentators, this is not the best team Brazil has had in a long time. People are quite unhappy with the team, more so after it lost to Mexico in the Olympic Games final.”

Mbete also urged the South African Football Association (Safa) to start communication channels with his office in the build-up to the 2014 Fifa World Cup that will be held in this country.

He said his office would soon be distributing information that would help South Africans wishing to come to the tournament with the necessary information.

The ambassador, who has been in Brazil for just six months after four years in Mexico, said he was amazed at the level of ignorance and what people always expect from his office.

“Some people think we can actually organise accommodation for them if they come to the tournament,” he said.

As a result of this, he said his office would set up a website that would give information such as which cities would be hosting the tournament, what are the best hotels to stay in at the particular cities as well as the modes of transport available.

“We will also have people at the major airports in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro to assist South Africans arriving in this country,” he said.

Brazil, which have won the World Cup five times – more than any other nation – is preparing 12 stadiums for the tournament.

In reply, Safa president Kirsten Nematandani said the players were ready and raring to deliver under new coach Gordon Igesund.

“You heard what the Ambassador said about the preparations for the 2014. That means even beyond the game on Friday, we must qualify for the World Cup,” he said.

South Africa has to look back to the days Clive Barker when Bafana Bafana led Brazil 2-0 at half-time at FNB Stadium only for the ­­Bebeto-Romario deadly combination to break their hearts in the second half for a 3-2 victory.

There was also joy in the 2000 Sydney Olympics where a team led by Shakes Mashaba – that incidentally had Benni McCarthy, who was called up this week and Siyabonga Nomvethe, who pulled out due to injury – beat a team featuring a young Ronaldinho 2-1.

Bafana had two training sessions on Tuesday, one yesterday and were to hold their final one at the match venue at 11am Brazillian time (4pm South African time).

The match against Brazil kicks off at 4.45pm tomorrow (8.45pm South African time).

» S’Busiso Mseleku is in Brazil courtesy of Safa

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