COMETH THE HOUR

BAFANA Bafana received messages of support from Fifa's Local Organising Committee yesterday, 24 hours before they kick off their campaign in the historic World Cup.

BAFANA Bafana received messages of support from Fifa's Local Organising Committee yesterday, 24 hours before they kick off their campaign in the historic World Cup.

Bafana take on Mexico in the tournament's opening match at Soccer City at 4pm.

LOC chief executive Danny Jordaan said Bafana were the nation's pride and deserved "our unwavering support throughout the tournament".

"Bafana have peaked at the right time and I think they will make all of us proud in the World Cup.

"The support we gave them in their preparatory matches was inspirational. They can do even better if we continue to rally round them. Let's also put them in our prayers."

Jordaan is one of the "Three Musketeers" who led the bidding process. They include LOC chairperson Irvin Khoza and former Safa president Molefi Oliphant. President Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu were also considered part of the team.

Khoza said: "Fifa president Sepp Blatter and many influential world leaders endorsed our readiness to host a successful World Cup. This is an excellent business card for South Africa.

"As for Bafana Bafana, we are impressed that the whole nation has embraced them. It is good that they are able to keep possession for a long time and can score goals. We go into the World Cup with renewed hope and we should think positively about this team."

Oliphant said: "Bafana Bafana put a smile on our faces with their performances in recent friendlies. I am positive that they will make us proud in the World Cup."

He urged all South Africans to root for the national team in numbers, starting with the match against Mexico today.

The LOC also urged South Africans to support Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Algeria who make up the Africa "six pack" - the six African nations that have qualified for the tournament.

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