'continue wearing bafana jerseyS'

ON JULY 10 last year Mpumalanga came up with an inspired idea. Every Friday until the end of the first World Cup on African soil, South Africans were encouraged to wear their soccer jerseys.

ON JULY 10 last year Mpumalanga came up with an inspired idea. Every Friday until the end of the first World Cup on African soil, South Africans were encouraged to wear their soccer jerseys.

South Africans responded overwhelmingly. Football Friday took off and soon Bafana Bafana jerseys were flying off the shelves. Now, following Bafana Bafana's exit from the world's greatest sporting event, Mpumalanga is again calling on all South Africans to continue the tradition.

Mpumalanga 2010 spokesperson Janine Julies says the soccer spectacle is not just about Bafana.

"Football Friday was never about Bafana," Julies said yesterday. "It's about all 32 participating teams.

"The aim was to support the country as we host the tournament. It was for South Africans to celebrate soccer development," Julies said.

Bafana Bafana failed to progress to the last 16 despite beating France 2-1 at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Tuesday.

Julies said they were amazed by how well the campaign had gone.

"We were merely challenging other provinces into promoting soccer. People shouldn't stop wearing their soccer jerseys.

"We have done it. I'm certain that the next host country (Brazil) will adopt the campaign," Julies said.

She was proud of South Africans for making the campaign a success.

"Other provinces adopted the campaign and it soared. The campaign brought us together more than before. It united us as a nation," Julies said.

She said another campaign was already under way in the province.

"We encourage people to donate soccer boots. We aim to develop sports in rural areas," Julies said.

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