nation rallies behind bafana

UNITED: Bafana Bafana supporters during the celebrations to mark 100 days before the kickoff of the World Cup in Sandton yesterday. Pic: MOHAU MOFOKENG. 02/03/2010. © Sowetan.
UNITED: Bafana Bafana supporters during the celebrations to mark 100 days before the kickoff of the World Cup in Sandton yesterday. Pic: MOHAU MOFOKENG. 02/03/2010. © Sowetan.

THE Local Organising Committee (LOC) has described the massive demand for Bafana Bafana replica jerseys as a good sign that the country is embracing the team.

THE Local Organising Committee (LOC) has described the massive demand for Bafana Bafana replica jerseys as a good sign that the country is embracing the team.

This was according to LOC chairperson Irvin Khoza yesterday as South Africa celebrated the 2010 Fifa World Cup 100 days countdown.

"It is difficult to get a Bafana Bafana jersey today at any of the sports shops in South Africa. This augurs well for the support of the team," Khoza said.

"A few days ago one of the top companies wanted to buy 100000 jerseys."

Khoza is confident all the games will be sold out.

"We had 2,9million tickets made available for the World Cup and just more than 2,2million have been sold Khoza said. We have about 600000 that we are confident will be bought when the over- the-counter ticket sales open on April 15.

"We are seeing more and more people embracing Bafana Bafana. Almost everybody is now wearing the replica jerseys in support of the Football Friday campaign. It is important for all of us to support our national team."

He said coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was working hard on mental conditioning.

"In this tournament you need players with mental strength. It is high time our players must also come to the party. The coach can only do so much."

Khoza said it was normal for people to be concerned about their national team before a major tournament.

"It has happened in other countries who hosted previous World Cups," he said.

"France did not qualify for two World Cup finals but went on to win when they hosted the event in 1998. In 2002, South Korea had the same problem.

"They surprised all and sundry by going all the way to the semifinals. In 2006 Germany were also written off prior to the World Cup. It is now history that they won a bronze medal.

"We are confident that Bafana Bafana will make us proud too in this historic World Cup, the first on the African continent."

Khoza also paid tribute to all South Africans who contributed to the success of the Cup preparations.

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