Kasi people snub Bafana

Sudan coach Zdravko Logarusic and his SA counterpart Molefi Ntseki exchange greetings before their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in front of empty stands in Soweto yesterday.
Sudan coach Zdravko Logarusic and his SA counterpart Molefi Ntseki exchange greetings before their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in front of empty stands in Soweto yesterday.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo

Perceived by many as the spiritual home of SA football, Soweto's Orlando Stadium subjected Bafana Bafana to a generally poor atmosphere in the stands against Sudan yesterday.

Lacking full backing and vibe from the stands, Bafana still managed to record an unconvincing 1-0 win over Sudan in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier.

Being the biggest township in the country that is home to two giants of local top-flight in Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, historically, the senior national team should not struggle to fill up any stadium in Soweto, especially at a time where the team is undergoing a new phase under the recently appointed mentor Molefi Ntseki.

Nevertheless, the 40,000 seater arena wasn't even half-packed, with only the lower tier of the venue crammed with vibrant supporters clad in Bafana's yellow and green regalia.

Weather, permitting you'd have expected a better attendance, but only 12,000, approximately, people got their bums on the seats.

The sky was clear, sun shining brilliantly.

But perhaps, local fans were still not convinced by Ntseki's troops following their 2-0 defeat away to Ghana on Thursday in what was their maiden match of the Afcon qualifiers.

Bafana mainly utilise 2010 Fifa World Cup venues such as FNB, Moses Mabhida and Nelson Mandela Bay stadiums as their primary home grounds.

The idea to take yesterday's game to Orlando was to gauge how will kasi people welcome the team and by the look of things, Soweto people disappointed.

But it's a tricky one to anticipate whether Orlando or any other township venue will be given a Bafana game any time soon, taking into account the fact that even the FNB stadium is hardly a full house when Bafana are in town.

Banyana Banyana players, Thembi Kgatlana, Linda Motlhalo and Andile Dhlamini rallied behind the men's senior national side, sitting comfortably at the VIP suites with their families.

In the end the win did soothe South Africans' hearts after the disappointment of the opening match away in Ghana.

Bafana joined Ghana and Sudan on three points, with the Black Stars expected to extend their lead at the top with a win over Group C whipping boys Sao Tome e Principe.

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