Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Bafana Bafana’s Ethiopia clash heralds SA spectators returning stadiums

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 5, 2021

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Cape Town – The Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla has welcomed SAFA’s recommendation for the return of spectators to the stadiums and has asked the two parties to urgently work together to finalise the logistics.

Further details will be announced at a joint Press Conference between the Ministry of Health and SAFA on Friday, in Pretoria.

ALSO READ: Vaccinated fans will enjoy free entry to Bafana Bafana’s World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia

In a meeting at SAFA House on Monday, a delegation from the Ministry of Health, headed by Dr Phaahla and from the South African Football Association (SAFA) headed by President Dr Danny Jordaan, the Minister of Health said the return of fans to the stadium was a win-win situation in the bigger scheme of things.

The return of fans to the stadiums will expedite the vaccination drive and in the same breath stimulate the informal economic sector of taxis who drive spectators to the stadiums and those who sell their commodities to the fans.

The Health Minister said he was appreciative of football’s support to drive for mass vaccinations and at the same time help the informal sectors earn a living by fans returning to the stadium.

ALSO READ: Bafana Bafana must prove Ghana win was no fluke during Ethiopia clashes

‘’This is music in my ears. It is a win-win situation, it will spur all and sundry, the clubs, players and the football business.

‘’We also want other sectors of the economy to return to normalcy if most of the population is vaccinated – sectors such as tourism, restaurants etc. So, I am here to embrace and fully support SAFA’s initiative,’’ he said.

"By getting vaccinated, life can return to what it used to be, and the society can get along with their normal daily lives," he said.

SAFA President Jordaan said the Association was committed to seeing South Africans getting vaccinated. SAFA fully support the initiative and will use football to accelerate the process.

Jordaan said the pilot project of fans returning to the Soccer City Stadium on 12 October for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Ethiopia should herald the beginning of spectators fully returning to the stadiums.

He also reiterated the 'No vaccination, No entry' to the stadium call, saying all SAFA stakeholders needed to be vaccinated by 30 October 2021 to participate in football matters.

IOL Sport

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