South Africa to host anti-xenophobia football matches – SAFA

South Africa’s national team will play two international friendly matches against neighbouring countries in a bid to sensitise the public on the evils of xenophobia, the South African Football Association, SAFA, announced on Sunday.

Xenophobic attacks by South Africans against foreigners, particularly those of African descent has badly dented the image of the country in recent days.

“We want to use the two high-profile international friendly matches as an instrument to unite this continent,” said SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble.

“What has been happening in the past few days have really left most people in a shock and dismayed.”

He said Nelson Mandela spoke of the power of sport in uniting people from different walks of life “and we want to use the power of football to unite this continent and kick out this scourge within certain malcontents in our society.”

The details of the two international friendly matches will be announced by SAFA shortly.

South Africa has in recent days witnessed a spate of some of the most violent xenophobic attacks with at least seven people killed in Durban and Johannesburg.

“We are one continent, one Africa, we are all Africans and we say no to xenophobia,” Mumble added.

(PANA /NAN)


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  • Guest

    While I think that the intentions are good and I agree with the statement that sport has the potential to bring different people together and reveal their human commonalities, I still question whether this is the right move. For instance, if the foreign teams beat South Africa that could potentially increase anti foreigner sentiment among some. Don’t forget that incident a few years ago when some Bafana fans threw stones at the Zambian team and their bus- I believe that was also an international “friendly”.

    Whether the games help or not, I hope this senseless violence dies down quickly and never reoccurs. I am a South African whose family moved away for economic and safety reasons, the same reasons as many foreign nationals who come to South Africa from their home countries. I can’t imagine being attacked because I was not born in the country I now reside in, but that is exactly what some South Africans are doing to others. Many, many South Africans are horrified by and ashamed of these disgusting and barbaric acts. We are sorry that fellow human beings are being treated this way and that frustrated and desperate people have taken their anger out in such a sickening and inhumane manner.

    • Lemmuel Odjay

      Lapses, some of them with grave consequences, do occur when leadership slip. It should be a continuous struggle that government ensures only the needful are allowed in, because there must be room made for those within. When in a moment you fail to keep tag on this, society becomes the victim. How many should be permitted entry and how many from within have been prepared to fill the allocations meant for the “sons of the soil” is an issue that must not be politicised.That we are brothers is not good enough reason to throw open your doors to all. Now they are going to drag politics into the issue and draw bad blood in the process.

  • Lemmuel Odjay

    Nobody thought it could come to this. Long ago, with another land called Nigeria, Azania fell in love so deep and drank, thirsty, on sweet waters that gushed from the very eyes of that same Nigeria. I remember how each month just before pay day we would ask at the pay office whether money had been deducted from our salaries and paid into the South African Relief Fund for onward transfer to the liberation struggle going on in Azania. When, a few years after, our efforts had yielded good fruits and our very own sweetheart Azania had become free. How we danced in the streets of Nigerian cities from sweet soul music that wafted free from generous loudspeakers. There was shortage of almost everything that should make our beautiful love survive and mature quickly so we could meet under the moonlit mango tree to share our love. The reign of a new Kushite princess had just begun. Quickly, manpower as well as more money was splurged into the effort… teachers, doctors, nurses, nothing was too much, for the weal of our darling… You know sometimes, it could be frustrating when all you do is sleep and wake up only to see the eyes of yesterday staring at your face. You begin to wonder, would tomorrow ever come along? But as night follows day, time changes everything. Azania has come of age, and this is the sign…