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They stood in the winter sun for up to two hours just waiting to catch a glimpse of their nation’s hope, Bafana Bafana. Some swopped their usual tie and shirts to don the South African National football jersey. Those who tried to work, it seems, eventually left their work stations and joined in the trumpet blast that gripped Johannesburg’s business hub also known as Sandton.
They blew their vuvuzelas, sang Shosholoza, blew the vuvuzelas some more and finally…..the green double decker bus carrying the national team emerged. Bafana Bafana supporters showed their love to the team ahead of their World Cup Opening match against Mexico on Friday. The players, led by captain Aaron Mokoena, could be seen perched atop the open bus taking pictures of the fans below and waving at them.
In cities around South Africa, on Wednesday, football fans heeded the call to support Bafana Bafana by blowing their vuvuzelas at midday. “The “Vuvuzela Moment” was an initiative which was to bring Mzansi to a standstill, make the world stand up and take notice of Mzansi’s pride, its own heritage”, read the statement from the organizers.
from Reuters Soccer Blog:
Joel Santana arrived for what he thought was a routine review of his work with his South African Football Association bosses on Monday and within hours was packing his bags for a return to Brazil, ending his tenure as the 15th coach employed by South Africa in the last 17 years.
The run of poor results in recent internationals plus last year's early elimination from the African Nations Cup qualifiers, had left Bafana Bafana in deep crisis, a team without any confidence or direction and running out of time before hosting the 2010 World Cup finals.
There were the predictable platitudes from Sepp Blatter in South Africa this week, expressing satisfaction with the pace of construction of the country’s top stadia ahead of its hosting if the 2010 World Cup finals.
But there was little Swiss diplomacy on display from the FIFA president when dealing with the issue of the country’s national team, Bafana Bafana, whose rapid decline over the last years is now a major source of concern.