The State President of the Republic of South Africa (RSA) His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa has joined millions of South Africans in wishing Bafana Bafana good luck ahead of the all-important and much-anticipated Last 16 clash against host nation Egypt in the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
The match will be played tomorrow night (Saturday, 6 July 2019) at the Cairo International Stadium.
“Bafana Bafana’s entry into the 2019 AFCON round of 16 is in itself a source of pride for all South Africans, but it is also a platform which the national team can achieve even greater success,” said President Ramaphosa.
“I call upon every South African to support the national team from their homes and social space or in the stands at the Cairo International Stadium.”
The Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, the Honorable Nathi Mthethwa, who says he has great belief in the team, echoed President Ramaphosa’s words.
“Bafana Bafana carry the hopes of the nation, and remain our ambassadors in Egypt, and they also continue to carry our flag high. I take this opportunity to wish them all the best in the huge clash against Egypt, and also urge the nation to rally behind the team and give them all the support they deserve,” said Minister Mthethwa.
“The support must be like we are all physically present in Egypt so that our boys can feel it from afar. Our hope as a nation is that the team must give their best and do everything in their power to proceed to the next round. Our hope rests on their shoulders and we confident they will display the kind of performance that is expected by the nation. Once again, all the best coach Baxter and his troops, go do us proud.”
SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan, who is in Cairo with the squad, albeit on CAF duties, stated that despite the team having being drawn in what many pundits termed the Group of Death with the likes of Morocco and Ivory Coast – (both of whom have won the AFCON tournament), Bafana Bafana qualified for the round of 16. With the group stages behind us now, the team is where the entire country and SAFA wanted them to be – in the last 16 – where they will face another major hurdle, the hosts and also 7-time champions of this tournament,” said Dr Jordaan.
“What is important now for all of us as the Rainbow Nation is, to heed the call by the Honourable State President to rally behind the team and give them enough support to cause what could perhaps be the biggest upset of the tournament by beating the hosts. I am certain that the team will emerge stronger for tomorrow’s clash against Egypt and shine on the continent, as many South Africans would like to see. Good luck to coach Stuart Baxter and his troops and we assure them that the whole country is behind them.”
The match against Egypt kicks off at 21h00.
The winner will go on to face either Cameroon or Nigeria in the quarterfinals.
The final of the tournament takes place on Friday 19 July.