We’re all behind you, De Lille tells Bafana

10 January 2014

The Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, visited Bafana Bafana at their training camp in the city on Thursday, ahead of Saturday’s kick off of the 2014 African Nations Championships (Chan) at Cape Town Stadium.

The teams in the tournament are composed of players that ply their trade in their home countries. South Africa plays in the opening game against Mozambique, with kick off at 6pm, followed by fellow Group A contestants Mali and Nigeria doing battle at 9pm.

De Lille personally met each and every player and member of the coaching staff before they began training. She also received a Bafana Bafana jersey from coach Gordon Igesund and captain Itumeleng Khune.

‘They represent you and me’

“It is always great and an honour to meet our sports stars because they represent you and me. It is even greater that, for the first time ever, we Cape Town are hosting Bafana Bafana for an international tournament,” she told the players.

“I want to wish you the best of luck in the Chan competition. The whole nation is behind you, so go out there and do the nation proud.

“I would also like to remind football fans around the country, in particular Capetonians, to go get their tickets and come support not just Bafana Bafana but the whole tournament,” she added.

The history of Chan

The African Nations Championship has been played twice previously, with the Democratic Republic of Congo winning the first tournament, hosted by the Ivory Coast in 2009, by beating Ghana 2-0 in the final. Zambia finished third after a 2-1 defeat of Senegal.

In 2011, in Sudan, Tunisia crushed Angola 3-0 in the final to capture the title. Sudan finished third after edging Algeria 1-0.

Chan and Bafana Bafana

South Africa failed to qualify for the first African Nations Championship finals after losing to Zimbabwe 3-0 on aggregate in the qualifiers.

Bafana Bafana, however, made it to the finals in 2011 after seeing off both Botswana and Zambia on 2-1 aggregates in the qualifiers. They then finished top of Group B after wins of 2-1 over Ghana, 2-0 over Niger and 2-1 over Zimbabwe.

South Africa’s tournament was ended by Algeria in the quarterfinals, with the North Africans scoring a 2-0 victory.

SAinfo reporter and South African Football Association