Pirates have won the battle, not the war – Fikile Mbalula

2013-10-22 08:44

He applauds Pirates’ “fighting spirit and determination for representing the country with pride” but “it’s not over yet”, Minister of Sport and Recreation Fikile Mbalula has said.

Orlando Pirates received a heroes’ welcome from as many as 1 000 supporters from various PSL teams at OR Tambo International yesterday afternoon.

After reaching the final of the CAF Champions League, in which they will play Egyptian giants Al Ahly next weekend, Pirates players were mobbed by excited supporters on their return from Tunisia.

Supporters wearing various PSL clubs regalia braved the rain and waited for more than two hours before Pirates players emerged in the arrivals hall.

They were welcomed to the sound of vuvuzelas and singing as supporters battled to grab their attention.

Mbalula, flanked by Gauteng MEC for Sport Lebogang Maile, was among the welcoming party.

Mbalula expressed his gratitude to all South Africans for showing their support to the Buccaneers. He also congratulated Pirates for reaching the final, but cautioned them against complacency.

“We always say we reward excellence, not mediocrity, but we can’t do that before the final next weekend. You have won the battle, not the war,” said Mbalula.

He urged them to keep their feet on the ground and focus on the final.

Maile said he was encouraged by the kind of support the team had been receiving from various sporting codes and other teams’ supporters.

“Now the challenge is to fill the stadium next weekend when they host Al Ahly and I am confident South Africans will come in large numbers,” said Maile.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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.


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.