South African president to visit team after crucial FIFA World Cup match

08:32, June 23, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

South African President Jacob Zuma will visit the South African national football team Bafana Bafana in their change room after their decisive match in Bloemfontein on Tuesday evening, whether they win or lose.

South Africa on Tuesday faced the very real prospect of being the first host nation to be eliminated from a FIFA World Cup in the opening round.

Depending on how the other group a match between Urugauy and Mexico progesses, Bafana may have to beat France by five goals just to stay in the tournament. Both matches will be palyed at the same time.

Although the French are unsettled by a player revolt over the expulsion of key player Nicolas Anelka, they are still tipped to win. France, ranked ninth in the world, were World Cup winners in 1998 and were ranked first in 2001 and 2002.

South Africa are ranked 83rd.

Zuma's spokesman Zizi Kodwa told the Cape Argus newspaper on Tuesday morning that the president is calm ahead of the match.

"No, he's not nervous, because we're already won as a nation, just by hosting this magnificent tournament," Kodwa said.

"At the end of the game, he will go down to the change room to see the boys, to speak to them personally. If they were to win it would be a bonus."

Kodwa said that Zuma would not meet the team privately before the game, because he did not want to put "extra pressure" on the players.

"They have enough pressure on them; the weight of the nation."

"But win or lose, the president believes they remain the pride of our nation."


Special Report: World Cup 2010


  • Do you have anything to say?



Related Channel News

Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Red flag flies at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 28, 2011. A spokesperson with China's manned space program said Wednesday that fuel has been injected into the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket in preparation for launching the Tiangong-1 space module Thursday evening as planned. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
  • A militant loyal to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) waves in a tank near Bani Walid, one of the pro-Muammar Gaddafi strongholds, on Sept. 28, 2011. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)
  • Jewish worshippers pray at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City on Sept. 28, 2011, ahead of Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish new year which will begin at sunset on Sept. 28 and conclude at nightfall on Sept. 30. (Xinhua/Muammar Awad)
  • High school student Johanna Choapa is helped by her father after announcing the end of hunger strike in Santiago, capital of Chile, on Sept. 28, 2011. The end of the strike took place to make way for a dialogue with the government, seeking to resolve the four-month crisis in the education sector. (Xinhua/Jorge Villegas)
  • Passengers wait for help after a coach skidded of an icy road in Xinghai county, Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region, Sept 28, 2011. The accident occurred at an altitude of 4,400 meters Wednesday morning and has trapped 41 passengers in the snow covered area. The coach was travelling from Xining city to Yushu county in Qinghai. (Photo/Xinhua)
  • A doctor takes blood sample of a girl for the dengue virus test at a hospital in east Pakistan's Lahore on Sept. 28, 2011. The death toll as a result of Pakistan's dengue fever outbreak continues to rise at alarming rates as at least 108 people have now been confirmed dead. The total number of people who have contracted the virus is reported to be at least 10,585 in Punjab, with 9,000 reported from Lahore. (Xinhua Photo/Sajjad)
Hot Forum Discussion