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Let's back Bafana, PSL boss urges SA

By unknown | Nov 12, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Kjetil Siem, Premier Soccer League chief executive, has called on South Africans of all races to give more support to Bafana Bafana.

Siem said he found it strange that Bafana Bafana were not getting similar support from South Africans to Amabhokobhoko.

He was speaking at Sowetan Extra Time in Sandton on Thursday night attended by various soccer and business leaders, and ordinary supporters.

Siem said when Amabhokobhoko won the Rugby World Cup in France last month, the whole country was behind the team.

"With Bafana Bafana, there is no support from all South Africans. Rugby is nothing when you compare it with soccer, it's just a few countries coming together to play the Rugby World Cup," said Siem, a former sports journalist.

"But the [soccer] World Cup is massive. Right now the focus in the world is on South Africa. The 2010 World Cup preliminary draw will have just over 6 000 delegates.

"I think people have to get behind Bafana like they did with the Bokke lately. This will not only have a good impression on football, but will have a very great impact on the socioeconomic situation as well. People need to show that the game is a very well supported sport in the country.

Siem also pledged the PSL's support to Bafana Bafana, rejecting utterances by coach Carlos Alberto Parreira that the league disrespected the senior national team.

Talking on the performance of Bafana Bafana, Siem urged the soccer players to take a leaf from the Boks.

"Soccer players need to learn from the rugby team - they show passion, they play with the flag close to their hearts."

On the issue of club versus country, Siem said: "It is embarrassing; the PSL, Safa and 2010 [Local Organising Committee] must talk to each other."

Siem said he was disappointed that soccer in this country was getting negative publicity from the traditionally white media.

Turning to technical issues, he said South Africa should invest in training facilities.

Siem said Mzansi was a great country to be in, especially for people from other parts of the world.

"You [South Africans] misuse the power of your country's brand. South Africa will host the 2010 World Cup, I know many countries who failed [during their bids]."

l See page 20 for a report on the PSL's AGM.


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