CAPE TOWN - Bafana Bafana and the South African rugby community are on tenterhooks, as they approach a vitally important few days.
And South Africans are being urged to don green and gold, or display the colours publicly on Friday to show that our blood is green.
Bafana Bafana play Senegal in Polokwane on Friday in the first of two must-win World Cup 2018 qualifiers against Senegal within four days. And then next Wednesday the final decision on who will host the 2023 Rugby World Cup will be made.
The South African Football Association has urged the country to “come show your love” for Bafana countrywide and to fill the stadium in Polokwane, with messages of support for the team coming this week from the likes of Caster Semenya, Judith Sephuma, Doctor Khumalo and others.
Friday is the day to wear green and gold in support of the national soccer team and the World Cup bid.
World Rugby announced a week ago that South Africa had produced a “superb bid” and was the “clear leader” on a competitive tendering process to host the tournament, but they continue to face bitter competition from Ireland and France.
“We are within touching distance of realising a long-held dream to host the Rugby World Cup once again,” said Thulas Nxesi, Minister of Sport and Recreation.
“But we cannot falter just short of the finishing line and we need to send a clear message to the World Rugby Council that South Africa is ready and excited to host the most memorable Rugby World Cup tournament there has ever been.
“That is why we are calling on all South Africans to unite behind this wonderful, nation-building event that will also bring significant economic, emotional and inspirational benefits to our country.
“I would urge all South Africans to wear their Springbok jerseys or something green and gold on Friday this week as well as on D-Day – Wednesday, 15 November – to show their eagerness and excitement to welcome the Rugby World Cup back to South Africa,” said Nxesi.
Corporate South Africa has been urged to back the initiative by allowing their staff to wear green on 10 and 15 November.
“We want to turn green the factories, the schools, shops and offices and malls of South Africa each week to underline the message to the Rugby World Cup board that South Africa is the best choice to host the 2023 tournament. We are asking the country to get behind us in this scrum and help push us over the line,” said SA Rugby President Mark Alexander.
The South African Football Association have urged the country to “come show your love” for Bafana countrywide and to fill the stadium in Polokwane, with messages of support for the team coming this week from the likes of Caster Semenya, Judith Sephuma, Doctor Khumalo and others.