22 June 2010
It’s going to be Football Tuesday in South Africa today, with business and political leaders, joined by former president Nelson Mandela and the International Marketing Council, calling for a massive show of support for Bafana Bafana ahead of their crucial World Cup match against France.
Primedia, the Southern Sun hotel group and the International Marketing Council have called on South Africans to “paint Tuesday yellow and green from all the four corners of our country in support of our national team.”
Bafana Bafana, following a draw against Mexico and a loss to Uruguay, will need a convincing win against former world champions France if they are to stand any chance of progressing beyond the group stage of the tournament.
“The vuvuzela clarion call must bring us together as we spur our Boys on their most important assignment yet,” Sophie Masipa, marketing manager of the International Marketing Council of South Africa, said on Friday.
“‘Bafana Bafana, we believe!’ should be the war cry on Tuesday,” Masipa said. “Wearing our Bafana jerseys and waving our flags high will send a clear message to our boys that the nation remains loyally behind them. The Bafana 12th is us, the fans, and we must carry on playing our part.”
President Jacob Zuma, for his part, has urged the country not to give up hope of progressing in the tournament. “We must continue supporting the national team, the African teams and indeed the World Cup tournament in general as hosts,” Zuma said during the launch of a social housing project in East London on Saturday.
“South Africans are already winners,” Zuma added. “The whole world is looking at us and applauding our success so far as hosts. And we have proven ourselves to be fantastic hosts.”
Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Achmat Dangor told the Sunday Times that Mandela and the Foundation wished Bafana the best of luck for their game against France, adding: “We assure you of our unwavering support.”
Bafana Bafana, the IMC’s Masipa said, had in the past the past few weeks “done more to cement our proudly South African identity as a Rainbow Nation than the collective efforts dating back to the 1995 Springboks’ World Cup triumph.
“With the attention of the world fixed on our beautiful country, seeing all South Africans put aside their differences to rally behind the team is closest to realising the united nation Nelson Madiba Mandela continues to dream about.”
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