SA, Brazil match to celebrate 20 years of democracy

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Johannesburg - South Africa will use the upcoming international friendly match against five-time World Cup champions, Brazil, to showcase its state of readiness to celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy.

Bafana Bafana will play against Brazil at FNB stadium on Wednesday, 5 March at 7pm. The match will also mark the handing over of the baton from the 2010 World Cup hosts to this year’s host, Brazil.

Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said: “When we host Brazil, we will demonstrate our confidence in showing the world that sport is one of the key drivers of promoting social cohesion and nation-building in our country.

“As the match will be on the eve of our 20 years of freedom celebrations, so as South Africa, we will use the hosting of Brazil as another opportunity to showcase our state of readiness in celebrating the 20 years of our freedom and democracy, but also re-emphasizing that there is a good story to tell about democracy and freedom in South Africa”.

Premier Mokonyane was briefing reporters at the South African Football Association (Safa) headquarters in Nasrec, Johannesburg, on Wednesday, about the state of readiness of the province to host the international friendly match.

On match day, the Premier said President Jacob Zuma will use the occasion to wish Brazil well as the host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

This will be the last match for Brazil outside their country before their World Cup opening match against Croatia on 12 June at Sao Paolo.

Premier Mokonyane wished Bafana well against Brazil next week.

“…my message to Bafana is that you … represent South Africa, you are a reflection of development across the world. Go and play, enjoy and you must represent us well.”

Premier Mokonyane reminded South Africans to rally behind Bafana and fly the South African flag.

Stadium Management CEO Jacques Grobbelaar said the pitch will also be in good condition and ready for the international friendly which is expected to be spectacular.

He said no vehicle will be allowed at the precinct of the match venue without a parking ticket, adding that so far they have sold 36 000 tickets for the match.

Safa President, Danny Jordaan, said the international match is extra special historically for both South Africa and Brazil.

“This match is extra special to us historically as you will remember that shortly after the dawn of our democracy, we played an international friendly match against Brazil, (Brazil won 3-2) and the line-up of the Brazilian squad confirm that they too value and understand the importance of this match.

“For us it is important that Brazil is coming back to play against us when we will be celebrating our 20 years of freedom and democracy.

“It is worth noting that Brazil chose to unveil their 2014 World Cup kit in our country and although, we are not going to the world cup, we will also use the match to unveil our new kit,” he said.

Bafana Bafana will assembly on Sunday, while Brazil is expected to arrive in South Africa on Monday.

BRICS

South Africa will also use the match to handover its chairpersonship of BRICS to Brazil.

BRICS is the acronym for an association of five major emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The Gauteng Premier said: “South Africa has been the chairperson of BRICS and we will use the match to hand over the chairpersonship to Brazil who will be chair this year.

“We will also use the match to remember the life and legacy of the late former President Nelson Mandela through sports knowing very well that he was not just the father of our nation, but a world icon who also appreciated the role sports play in promotion of unity in diversity.

“As we are heading towards elections, South Africans are still living side by side enjoying their stable democracy, so we will use this match to demonstrate that there is stability in our country”. - SAnews.gov.za

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