Bafana Bafana

Sigh... SAFA continues to turn a blind eye to Cape Town Stadium

2020-02-14 14:35
Cape Town Stadium with the city backdrop.

Cape Town - Thursday saw an all too familiar tune with confirmation that Bafana Bafana will once again play in Gauteng.

The South African Football Association (SAFA) announced that Bafana Bafana will host Sao Tome e Principe in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier on Friday, March 27 at the FNB Stadium.

It's all rather frustrating for supporters in the rest of the country, particularly the Western Cape, as the Cape Town Stadium last hosted a competitive Bafana Bafana fixture back in 2014 - a feisty AFCON qualifier against rivals Nigeria which ended in a draw.

Since then, Angola were the last nation to visit Cape Town Stadium for a friendly against Bafana Bafana in June 2015.

That was the last match South Africa played in the Mother City.

In Bafana Bafana's last 10 home games, four encounters were played in the Gauteng region – one match at Orlando Stadium and three games at FNB Stadium - while Moses Mabhida Stadium has hosted South Africa on three occasions, dating back to June 2017.

The other three home matches were scattered around the nation at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium (Port Elizabeth - Eastern Cape), Peter Mokaba Stadium (Polokwane - Limpopo) and Moruleng Stadium (Moruleng - North West).

If other associations from South Africa's top sporting codes can include Cape Town among their annual fixture list, surely SAFA can do the same?

The Proteas (national cricket team) host matches in the Mother City every year and more recently have taken games to lesser-known areas, such as Paarl.

The Springboks (national rugby team) are frequent visitors as well, and, despite the impending closure of Newlands Stadium at the end of the year, the national rugby side will end up having played a total of 55 Tests at the famous old ground.

And in 2021, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) has already confirmed that the Springboks will host the British and Irish Lions at the Cape Town Stadium in one of three Tests against their famous visitors.

There have been calls for SAFA to follow a similar protocol and play matches at stadiums across the nine provinces, instead of appearing to focus only on Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

In 2017, I wrote an article highlighting the fact the Cape Town Stadium had not hosted domestic cup finals with the preferred choice being, once again, venues in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

However, since then, the Mother City hosted the 2018 Nedbank Cup final between Free State Stars and Maritzburg United.

It was a welcome occasion for Cape football enthusiasts and hopefully the Premier Soccer League (PSL) continues to consider Cape Town Stadium for cup finals.

But now we have another problem that needs a solution.

SAFA needs to bring Bafana Bafana matches to the Cape Town Stadium as fans are yearning to see the likes of Percy Tau, Kamohelo Mokotjo, Lebohang Phiri, Thulani Serero and Lebo Mothiba run out in their national colours.

Please make it happen ...

 

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