Bafana aim to use Morocco game to win back dwindling support from South Africans

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos during the press conference at FNB Stadium on June 16, 2023.
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos during the press conference at FNB Stadium on June 16, 2023.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos says their African Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifier against tough Morocco is a great opportunity for his team to regain the support and trust of the South African public. 

For the first time in a long time, Bafana will play in front of a big home crowd when they host the Atlas Lions at FNB Stadium on Saturday (5pm). 

At least 40,000 spectators are expected to attend the dead-rubber match as both teams have already qualified for the continental showpiece in Ivory Coast from January. 

It’s no secret Bafana’s stocks have declined significantly over the years, thanks to their constant poor performances and failure to qualify for major tournaments on a regular basis. 

There's a chance this time around they will be able to draw a big crowd because they are playing against Morocco, who were the semi-finalists in the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar. 

Also, the match tickets to watch Africa’s top-ranked side, Morocco, cost as little as R20. 

Nonetheless, Broos believes this is an opportunity and if his men can put up a good performance against Morocco, locals might pitch up in their numbers for their next home games. 

“The opportunity is there, and we have to take that opportunity,” Broos said. 

“We have been playing home games in empty stadiums in the last two years and it’s not nice for a team that comes on the pitch, looks around and there’s nobody. 

“And you need that public in certain moments of the game and certainly against opponent like (Morocco). If you have a public that supports you, you can do more,” he said. 

“We have to win back the public. 

“Bafana Bafana is not very popular here in South Africa, so maybe tomorrow (Saturday) is the best opportunity to win back that public and to play in stadiums that will have crowds of supporters supporting us in the next months.” 

The match will mark the start of preparation for the Afcon for Broos and his men.

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