Bafana urged to revive Madiba spirit today

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Pretoria - South African Football Association (Safa) President Danny Jordaan has urged Bafana Bafana to rekindle Madiba’s spirit of never giving up against any adversity, when they play Brazil at FNB stadium tonight.

Madiba spent 27 years in prison, but on his release, he became a symbol of unity, beacon of hope and a true winner in the eyes of the world.

“Let Madiba be your inspiration, his spirit must drive you to achieve greater targets regardless of the odds being stacked against you.

“You have a special responsibility, so go out there and enjoy yourself. It should be a spectacular day,” he said.

Jordaan said tonight’s encounter against Brazil had lots of symbolic significance.

“We want to wish Brazil well in hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup in addition to us celebrating 20 years of our cherished democracy. This match is also a tribute to our late President Mandela.

“The two teams will be unveiling their respective new kit. Brazil will unveil their 2014 FIFA World Cup playing kit and Bafana will showcase their new Nike limited edition gear,” he said.

The Safa President said in all of the previous friendly matches, which date back to 1996 when a last minute Bebeto over-head kick gave the Samba Boys a come-from-behind 3-2 victory, Brazil had always beaten Bafana through late goals.

“It was the same issue with the Confederations Cup in 2009 and in 2012 in Sao Paolo. So keep guard and avoid conceding the last minute goal again,” Jordaan told the players at their camp on Tuesday.

According to the Safa President, the match against Brazil was part of the association’s goal of attaining the 2022 vision whose ultimate goal is to see Bafana Bafana consistently ranked amongst the top three on the African continent and top 20 in the world.

Bafana players positive

Bafana midfielder, Dean Furman, says he is looking forward to the international friendly match against the 2014 FIFA World Cup host.

“We know against these top sides that anything less than 100 percent, we are going to be found wanting. It’s vital that our work rate should be right up there with everything we’ve got,” said Furman.

The Doncaster Rovers midfielder said the team will go into the match with a positive approach and a winning mentality.

“We hope that the fans will come out in their numbers and really get behind us as they did against Spain. As a player there is no better atmosphere than to play in front of a big home crowd that is behind you.

“It’s definitely exciting to play against the best team in the world, a team that is fancied to win the World Cup.

“It’s great for us as individuals and collectively to test ourselves against such calibre of team and individual players,” he said.

Coach Igesund confident

Meanwhile, Coach Gordon Igesund said he had not yet decided on his starting line-up.

“I have not yet decided on my starting line-up, I am very close to it. I want to make sure we do things properly. We still have to analyse tapes for the opposition and once I have finalised my starting line-up, I will be able to announce the captain,” he said.

The coach also spoke about the disappointment of missing captain Khune. “Missing Khune is a huge blow. He is a top class goalkeeper, probably in the top 10 or top 15 in the world.

“For me it’s very important that we go out there and put up a performance that we are capable of putting up. We have to continue from where we left off against Morocco and Spain. I am very confident that the boys will put up a very competitive performance tonight,” said Igesund.

Tickets for the match can still be purchased at Computicket, Shoprite and Shoprite Checker’s stores throughout the country. They are selling for R50, R100 and R200. - SAnews.gov.za

 

 

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