9 July 2010 by Roy Barford

All eyes on Bafana Bafana after the 2010 FIFA World Cup™

Like many other South Africans, I didn’t own a Bafana Bafana shirt until recently. Having seen the national team shine at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ however, I, like many other South Africans, will be wearing that shirt a lot.

Bafana Bafana take on Ghana at Soccer City in Soweto on Wednesday, August 11, in a clash of Africa’s two most promising soccer nations. This is South Africa’s first match since hosting the very successful World Cup, and is a great opportunity to build on the legacy of the tournament.

Bafana climbed 17 places up the FIFA World Rankings thanks to their 1-1 draw with Mexico (ranked 17th in the world at the start of the tournament) and 2-1 victory against France (World Cup finalists in 2006).  South Africa was robbed of the opportunity to progress to the second round of the tournament when Ithumeleng Khune was unfairly penalised and red-carded in the match against Uruguay in Pretoria, while the score was still just 1-0.

South Africa was robbed of the opportunity to progress to the second round of the tournament when Ithumeleng Khune was unfairly penalised and red-carded in the match against Uruguay in Pretoria, while the score was still just 1-0.

Moving forward, however, the interest international clubs have expressed in signing Khune and his Kaizer Chiefs teammate, Siphiwe Tshabalala, is proof that South Africa has talent worth watching.

South Africa now also has several world-class stadiums and much-improved infrastructure. Soccer City, now listed as the seventh largest football stadium in the world, holds 94 000.

During a recent visit to Durban, I found the Moses Mabidha Stadium and its surrounds even more impressive than the Stade de France in Paris.

Here in Cape Town, we are desperate to see Bafana Bafana compete in the picturesque 68 000-seater stadium that drew so much praise during the World Cup.

The World Cup has ended, but its legacy has begun. I hope to see many yellow shirts in the streets on Wednesday and in the months and years to come…

Category: Sport

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