Scores of ticketless fans shut out of Bafana game

We didn't know we had to register online – Sundowns supporter

Neville Khoza Journalist
Some fans arrived at FNB Stadium on Tuesday without tickets. They only had proof of vaccination and were turned away.
Some fans arrived at FNB Stadium on Tuesday without tickets. They only had proof of vaccination and were turned away.
Image: Alon Skuy

While it was a joy for some supporters as they made their way to FNB Stadium to watch Bafana Bafana beat Ethiopia 1-0 on Tuesday in the Fifa World Cup qualifier, for others, it was a night of disappointment.

Reginald Sebeko was one of the 75 supporters who had travelled from Mbombela to the venue, hoping to be one of the 2,000 supporters allowed to watch the match. Instead he was turned away.

They said they came to the venue under the impression that the tickets will be provided to them and arrangements were made with Kaizer Chiefs fan and vaccination drive ambassador Sadaam Maake.

“At the vaccination campaign on September 17 when deputy president David Mabuza was in Mpumalanga, we were told that the province will get 100 tickets for those who are fully vaccinated,” Sebeko told the media outside the venue.

“I’m from Mpumalanga and I'm the number one fan of Mamelodi Sundowns. We have Mpumalanga club supporters that bring together all the fans from Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.

“So the whole week we knew that we would get tickets when we got here. We didn’t know that we had to register, we heard that on the radio, but it was late.

“That’s where they said everyone must apply and they said so while there were only 102 tickets left.

“All along, we knew we had our tickets ready...”

But Maake insisted they were told in time to register online, but decided against it.

“I didn’t know they were coming, I informed them that they must register, but the other guy came to me and said he can’t and I was surprised when they got here,” Maake said.

“I told them if they give us tickets, I will give them to you. They [Safa] then changed the system and said we will get it online and I told them to apply online, but they didn’t.”

A host of fans, especially the Ethiopians, were turned away, and they claimed they didn’t know they had to get a ticket online first and only had to arrive with proof of Covid-19 vaccination.

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