Minister hopeful of Afcon support

Friday, May 4, 2012
Nthambeleni Gabara

Pretoria - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula says he is hopeful that stadiums will be filled to capacity during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) and 2014 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournaments.

Briefing reporters at the post-Cabinet media briefing in Pretoria on Friday, Mbalula described both the Afcon and CHAN as important tournaments.

"We are a football loving nation; therefore, we are confident that the stadiums will be filled to their capacities during the two tournaments. As a country and government, we value these tournaments," he said.

He added that people will go to the stadium not only to support Bafana Bafana, but other teams as well.

However, Mbalula said while government would be focusing on inspiring the nation, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) should do more to create excitement, while the South African Football Association (Safa) should prepare Bafana Bafana to make the country proud.

The minister announced that matches will take place in Port Elizabeth (Nelson Mandela Bay), Rustenburg (Royal Bafokeng), eThekwini (Moses Mabhida Stadium) and Mbombela (Mbombela Stadium).

The cities of Polokwane, Kimberley, Mangaung and Cape Town will host the 2014 CHAN tournaments.

The 2013 Afcon will begin on 19 January and end on 10 February, with 16 teams set to participate.