Johannesburg - Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula praised
Bafana Bafana for a well spirited and bitter fight during the Africa Cup of
Nations (AFCON) on Saturday.
"Our team fought hard and dominated
but as a nation we understood that there could only be one winner." he
"For us, South Africa has already won
by being the best of this successful tournament. We wish Mali and all the other
teams well in their endeavour to lift the AFCON 2013 trophy on February
He said the government remain resolute
that this was the best Afcon tournament ever hosted in the country.
"We look forward to Bafana Bafana
representing us proudly in Brazil both at the 2014 Confederations and the FIFA
World Cup. We thank South Africans who continued to rally behind Bafana Bafana
and plead for their continued support towards the remaining teams in the
Bafana Bafana was knocked out from the
continental showpiece after failing to beat Mali during a tough quarter-final
at the Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban.
Mali proceeded to the semi-finals after
winning 3-1 on penalties against South Africa. The two sides played to a 1-1
draw after 120 minutes.
"For two weeks South Africa has
displayed excellent performance on and off the field, which inspired many
across the length and breadth of our beloved country," Mbalula said.
"We take pride in the support and
confidence expressed by President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma to Bafana Bafana
prior and during the Afcon soccer tournament."
The final of the AFCON tournament will be
played at the National Stadium in Johannesburg on February 10.