The South African Football Association (Safa) President, Kirsten Nematandani has praised Banyana Banyana following their qualification into the semi finals of the 7th CAF African Women’s Championship currently underway in Ekurhuleni.
Banyana played three matches – winning two and losing one. In the opening match played at the Sinaba Stadium in Daveyton, the South Africans defeated Tanzania 2-1, but fell to Nigeria by the same margin before they could bounce back with a convincing 4-0 victory over Mali in the final group stage match played at the same venue on Sunday November 7.
South Africa is joined in the last four by Nigeria, Equitorial Guinea and Cameroon, and they will play defending champions Equatorial on Thursday, November 11 at the Sinaba Stadium at 3.30pm.
Earlier before this match, Nigeria will entertain Cameroon in the first semi-final also at Sinaba Stadium. The winners of the two matches will qualify automatically to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.
“There is no better time than now for our girls, and we are saying to them seize the moment. First let’s congratulate them for qualifying for the semi-final of this tough competition and add that there is no perfect opportunity to qualify for the Women’s World Cup than now. We believe in them and we know they can do it. As Safa, and South Africans in general, we are behind them and are very optimistic that they will do well on Thursday. We are hoping they will be able to achieve their dreams of qualifying for their first ever World Cup tournament. We would like to thank all football lovers for the support they have given to our girls and urge them to continue coming in numbers to spur Banyana Banyana on in their quest for glory,” said Nematandani.
The Safa president has also congratulated Bafana Bafana captain Aaron “Mbazo” Mokoena, who has been nominated to receive the Freedom of the City of London. The ceremony takes place on Wednesday, November 10 in the Chamberlain’s Court at Guildhall in London. Mokoena, who is also captain of Portsmouth FC in England, has been nominated for this honour for his services to football and charitable activity which he conducts under the Aaron Mokoena Foundation both in South Africa and in London, England.
“On behalf of the South African Football Association, we are very proud that one of our own will be awarded the Freedom of the City of London accolade. That on its own shows what a great character Mokoena is, and really confirms his leadership qualities both as a player and a person. It is no wonder he is the first and only South African soccer player to have represented his country more than a hundred times, it tells what calibre of a man we are dealing with, and from the bottom of our hearts we say no one is more deserving of the honour and of flying the country’s flag high than him. We would like to wish him all the best and hope this will help inspire other players to follow in his footsteps,” said the President.
The ceremony will begin with an oath of allegiance and end by Mokoena being greeted as a “Citizen of London.” He will then be presented with a framed Freedom certificate.