Bafana Bafana supporters are set to be welcomed back to FNB Stadium next Tuesday against Ethiopia. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency(ANA)
Bafana Bafana supporters are set to be welcomed back to FNB Stadium next Tuesday against Ethiopia. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency(ANA)

History as fans allowed into stadium for Bafana Bafana’s World Cup qualifier

By Herman Gibbs Time of article published Oct 6, 2021

Share this article:

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana will make history at the FNB Stadium next Tuesday when they become the first sports team in South Africa to play in front of spectators after an 18-month absence due to the coronavirus pandemic.

SAFA President Danny Jordaan said the Health Minister Joe Phaahla has already given his blessing for fans to return to the stadiums. The Department of Health will formulate the protocols and advise national football on Thursday.

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

“We had a great meeting with the Department of Health. On Thursday they will guide the way and show we will achieve this," said Jordaan. "The Department will decide how we can do it in a manner that we all remain safe.

"It will be a marvel to see fans back in the stands."

Jordaan will accompany the team for the six-hour chartered flight to Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. The match venue is the Bahir Dar International Stadium, a multi-purpose facility. Bahir Dar is a tourism city, adjacent to the Nile River.

ALSO READ: Bafana Bafana’s Ethiopia clash heralds SA spectators returning stadiums

It has become traditional for the SAFA President to visit the national a day before a match, and Jordaan said the team held a special place in the hearts of South African fans.

“Bafana Bafana are the hearts and emotions of South African fans," said Jordaan. "The visit is to remind them of the place they hold within society. The hope they bring and the smiles they can put on the faces of the fans is special to see."

Jordaan said the team faced a tricky hurdle because of the back-to-back fixtures against Ethiopia in the space of four days.

“As SAFA, we have decided to do our best in terms of easing the travelling arrangements so that the team delivers their best," said Jordaan. "They will be chartered to Bahir Dar and leave immediately after the match for the return match. In that way, they can focus on the job at hand.”

Jordaan said the team will enjoy having a 12th man present, and hopefully, their game will thrive with the support coming from the stands.

@Herman_Gibbs

Share this article: