celtic fly peace flag

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Bloemfontein Celtic will use the World Cup-Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between neighbours Lesotho and Ghana at Free State Stadium on Sunday to denounce xenophobic attacks on African nationals in the country.

The club says it is vital to spread the gospel of tolerance now as Bloemfontein is one of the World Cup host cities which will have teams from other African countries playing in front of local crowds.

The march, which is aimed at attracting Celtic's supporters in throngs, is due to start at the Department of Home Affairs offices in Bloemfontein at 8am.

The marchers will pass through the busy streets of the city and proceed to Seisa Ramabodu Stadium, the venue of the match, in the township.

Sello Nduna, Phunya SeleSele's spokesman, said they could not have asked for a better platform to express their strong disapproval of the xenophobic violence that has embarrassed the country.

He said marching to the township will enable them to send out the message to more people who would be unable to attend the match.

Nduna said they were also inviting supporters of Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Free State Stars and other teams in the province to join the march.

"They should wear their regalia and carry placards that condemn these attacks.

"We are also expecting our players, who will be around the city, to be part of the march."

"We will also carry placards in and outside the stadium during the match. We will tell our African brothers and sisters at the stadium that we love them.

"As Celtic, we are not promoting these attacks on our brothers and sisters from the continent.

"We are happy that our neighbours, Lesotho, will be involved in the game and they will support us in our fight against xenophobic violence on Sunday."

Nduna also made a passionate plea to Siwelele (Celtic Supporters) to come in large numbers to spur Likoena on against Ghana who are likely to give the Lesotho side, coached by Zavisa Milosavljevic, a tough match.