Legends confident that Bafana will bring us joy

KWAZULU-NATAL football legends firmly believe Bafana Bafana will bring joy to South Africans during the coming Soccer World Cup.

Speaking to Sowetan with 38 days to kickoff, the legends said they were confident the team would do the nation proud.

They were speaking at a special celebration at Madlula's Place in Pietermaritzburg.

Veteran Orlando Pirates goalkeeper Patson "Sparks" Banda said the tournament would bring the nation closer and people would enjoy the talent displayed by teams from all over the world.

He said the enthusiasm shown by South Africans will help Bafana Bafana to play freely, knowing they have the whole country behind them.

"If it were up to the people the World Cup would be starting today.

The passion and joy our people have shown for the tournament is indescribable and it will be a vital boost for Bafana in their matches," Banda said.

During the celebration the crowd was also kept in tune with the diski dance moves and people were urged to show a spirit of friendliness towards visitors to the Zulu kingdom.

Former AmaZulu midfield maestro Cedric "Sugar-Ray" Xulu said: "The nation is ready, the Bafana players are getting prepared for their matches.

"This is a World Cup people will never forget."

KwaZulu-Natal has prepared well for the tournament with 2010 Host City Durban well on track and 2010 Moses Mabhida Stadium already a hit among visitors with its cable car on top of the stadium's arch, a major draw card.

The province will host Algeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Greece, Nigeria, and Paraguay.

Paraguay chose Pietermaritzburg, the KZN capital city, as their base camp.

"The youth will be excited to see Paraguay in training. They have good players who play in competitive leagues," said Patrick "Sika-bopha" Moodley, a soccer legend who played for Zulu Royals United in the 1960s.

Claude Pretorius of the office of the premier's 2010 unit said: "The celebration is proof that you do not have to be in Durban to feel the 2010 vibe.

"Pietermaritzburg is is not far from Durban. People will have easy access to suitable accommodation that will meet their needs."