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Zuma Urges Nation to Support Bafana
Source: Bua News
Source Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Jun 23, 2010

“While supporting our national squad, we must also remember that we have a much bigger responsibility. We are hosting this tournament on behalf of the African continent. We must succeed and we are doing exceptionally well so far,” the President said at the Reuters Newsmaker Session, on Tuesday.

He said he was proud of the national team. “We have seen great improvement in the squad which shows that the work of the coach Carlos Parreira and his team is paying off.”

However, the President reminded South Africans that the country had a lot of work to do until the final whistle. “We would bear this enormous responsibility as South Africans even if Bafana Bafana were not participating in the competition.”

The President showed his appreciation for the special spirit that is currently engulfing the country.


“For the first time ever in the 16 years of freedom and democracy, we see black and white South Africans celebrating together in the stadiums and fan parks.

“This unity and explosion of national pride will go down in our history as one of the most defining moments of the history of our young nation. “

The President also commended the logistics of the tournament, saying that two weeks into the competition, everything has gone according to plan. 


“This is due to careful planning that began on 15 May 2004 when we were declared the host country,” he said.

The attendance figures at stadiums and fan parks remain high and the opening ceremony marking the national squad’s first game against Mexico attracted 11 million viewers, the biggest South African television audience ever for a single event.

Statistics indicate an impressive 92% average attendance at the matches. Five hundred and eighty four thousand three hundred and ninety six (584 396) spectators attended the first 11 games of the tournament, out of a maximum seating capacity of six thousand and twenty six two hundred and fifty nine fans (626,259).

He said it was also impressive that the kick-off match was attended by more than 84 000 fans, the same number of fans attended the Brazil versus Cote d'Ivoire match on Sunday. 

“That consistent figure indicates that the excitement around the tournament remains as electric now as it was two weeks ago. There is definitely no lull in the country. This is a never-ending celebration of world class football.” – BuaNews


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