Neil Tovey will receive the accolade for his contribution to soccer. Photo: Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix

JOHANNESBURG – Technical Director of the South African Football Association (SAFA) Neil Tovey says he is honoured to have been selected to receive a National Order.

The National Order is the highest award that the country bestows on people who have contributed to the advancement of democracy and made an impact on improving the lives of South Africans.

The award will be bestowed by the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa.

Tovey is one of several prominent individuals who will be awarded the Order of Ikhamanga, which recognises South African citizens who have excelled in the fields of arts, culture, literature, music, journalism and sport.

The former Bafana Bafana and Kaizer Chiefs captain will be bestowed with the Order in Silver.

“This is for his excellent contribution to South African football; his passion for the sport put South Africa on the world map when he captained the national team to winning the Africa Cup of Nations,” said a statement from Chancellor of National Orders, Dr Cassius Lubisi when announcing the names of the recipients.

“It’s a great honour when you have to receive such an award from the president of the country. 

"It is just unbelievable, I really did not expect it, and I have to thank the whole team, everyone that I have had the opportunity to work with up to this point. Without them this would not have been possible,” said Tovey.

Tovey will join, among others, the following personalities who will be awarded the Order of Ikhamanga: Hashim Mohammed Amla – Sport (Cricket); Eric Risimati Baloyi – Sport (Boxing);  Johan Botha (posthumous) – Music; Lillian Dube – Arts; Sipho Cecil Peter “Hotstix” Mabuse – Music; Elana Meyer – Sport (Athletics) and John Smit – Sport (Rugby).

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