Zuma congratulates Bafana Bafana

President Jacob Gedleyhlekisa Zuma has congratulated Bafana Bafana for their 3-1 win over Mozambique in the opening match of the 2014 CHAN tournament in Cape Town on Saturday.

Zuma rushed from the African National Congress (ANC) 102nd year celebration manifesto launch in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, to cheer on and witness Bafana walloping the Mambas of Mozambique.

After the match, the President went down to the Bafana dressing room to personally congratulate the players and the technical team for winning their opening match.

“This is a good day for football and I am very happy after this fine performance by the team. You showed a lot of character by coming back to not only to equalise but to go on and score two more goals.

“This is the mark of a good team. I hope you grow from strength to strength. Thank you for making us smile,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula, CHAN Organising Committee chairperson, Almany Kabele Camara, Local Organising Committee CEO Mvuzo Mbebe and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) have all expressed their satisfaction with the organisation and official opening of the tournament.

Mbalula said FIFA’s decision to grant this tournament A-Level status shows that this tournament is important in the development and preservation of African football.

He called upon football lovers to come out in their numbers and show support for this tournament, which is uniquely African.

Camara congratulated the LOC, South African Football Association (Safa) and South African government for organising what he called a “well-oiled” machine and indication of “the best things to come during the tournament”.

He said: “As CAF, we now wish that the tone set by the LOC at the opening will continue in Mangaung and Limpopo.”

Mbebe said: “We could not have asked for a better opening ceremony and performance of the teams than what we witnessed yesterday at the kick-off of Orange CHAN 2014.

“Seven goals in the opening games show that we are ready for a treat throughout this tournament.”

Mbebe was upbeat when he shared with the media how the tickets sales suddenly shot up two days before the opening match, when more than 9 000 tickets were purchased by enthusiastic football fans.

He said a total of 26 328 fans attended the opening and the first two matches, which exclude VVIPs and VIPs.

The LOC deployed in excess of 1 600 personnel, including security, police, disaster management, traffic control personnel, medical and fire brigade, as well as volunteers including youth programme.

Over 220 artists and performers were engaged for the opening ceremony, which Camara described as “splendid”.

Bafana BafanaThe tournament is expected to continue to pull crowds as the competition builds up and the teams progress to the next stages. – SAnews.gov.za

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