Stadium gates finally swing open for long-suffering soccer fans

Registration to watch Bafana v Ethiopia still open

Neville Khoza Journalist
Some 2000 Bafana Bafana fans will for the first time since March last year, be able to watch the game against Ethiopia in the World Cup qualifier at FNB tomorrow.
Some 2000 Bafana Bafana fans will for the first time since March last year, be able to watch the game against Ethiopia in the World Cup qualifier at FNB tomorrow.
Image: Gallo Images/Foto24/Charl Devenish

Finally, South Africans can go to the stadium!

After 18 long and frustrating months, SA supporters have welcomed news they can flock to FNB Stadium tomorrow to watch Bafana Bafana against Ethiopia (6pm).

For the first time since March last year, fans will make their way through the turnstile as 2,000 vaccinated people will be allowed in to watch the 2022 Qatar Fifa World Cup qualifier. Bafana beat the same opponents 3-1 on Saturday to remain top of their group.

It has come as a huge relief for South African fans, who’ve been barred from stadiums since the Covid-19 pandemic caused havoc in the world in 2020. Adding to the frustration was the sight of other major leagues in the world opening up stadiums while the domestic league remains shut due to lockdown regulations.

Various supporters welcomed the news and are eager to make the trip to the 2010 World Cup venue tomorrow, having fulfilled the requirement of proving full vaccination to be handed free tickets.

Kaizer Chiefs fan Saddam Maake said returning to the stadium felt like being released from prison. “We’ve been watching games on TV since last year and we missed the vibe of being at the stadium. We are excited to go and watch the game and I appeal to football followers to vaccinate for us to return fully to stadiums.”

Fat Cats Football Club chairman Thapelo Sebone shared his excitement after Safa invited its members to come and watch the match.

“I’m very excited. It’s like when you do matric and at the end of the year, you see your name in the newspaper stating that you’ve passed, and you get excited. That’s the same feeling,” Sebone told Sowetan yesterday.

“We have been watching football from the comfort of our homes and now we are going to watch the match live. We hope our presence will make people take the jab so next time we can pack the stadium like other countries do.”

Safa has urged interested supporters to register for a ticket on ticketmaster.co.za by providing the unique voucher code they were given when they were fully vaccinated. They also need to provide their ID, full name, address and contact number. Once they are confirmed, they can collect their ticket with a unique number linked to their ID, which they must bring to the stadium.

At the verification hub, they also need to show the bar code or SMS, which is scanned and their ID verified against photo identity to gain access to collect their ticket.

Fans are also urged to use Gate K at Soccer City where a ticket flash will occur to verify the ID.

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