SAFA: How Governing Body Helped DR Congo Supporters Attend Friendly Against Bafana Bafana

SAFA: How Governing Body Helped DR Congo Supporters Attend Friendly Against Bafana Bafana

Byron Pillay
September 13, 2023 at 2:22 PM
  • Bafana Bafana beat DR Congo in their final friendly at the Orlando Stadium
  • DR Congo's supporters outnumbered Bafana Bafana's fans for the friendly
  • The South African Football Association helped DR Congo fans attend the game

Bafana Bafana played at home against DR Congo, but many would be forgiven for thinking it was an away game.

The Congolese fans outnumbered the South African supporters, and the reason for that has now been revealed.

SAFA CEO Lydia Monyepao.
SAFA CEO Lydia Monyepao admitted that the association helped DR Congo supporters attend the friendly against Bafana Bafana. Image: @CueSibiya.
Source: Twitter

As noted by iDiski Times, SAFA played a huge role in ensuring that Congo’s fans attended the game and that the kick-off time was changed after a request from the visitors.

SAFA CEO, Lydia Monyepao admitted that the association brought in more DR Congo supporters which contributed to them having more support. Monyepao explained that there was more interest from DR Congo supporters after their team qualified for AFCON, and so SAFA brought more of them in so they could watch their side play.

“We knew there was a lot of interest, but especially from the Congolese fans to see their team in action here. We spoke to the embassy of DRC as well, in terms of mobilising people on their side. So obviously some of this crowd is because of them,” she explained.

As noted by Goal, Bafana coach Hugo Broos expressed his disappointment after the game and said that it felt like they were playing an away fixture.

SAFA cater to DR Congo’s request

Another reason for the huge away numbers was due to the change in kick-off time.

Monyepao confessed that the game was due to originally start at 6 pm, to allow South Africans to get to the stadium after work.

This was changed when the visitors requested that the game be made earlier to ease their travel arrangements.

“The DR Congo FA approached us ‘can we move the game a bit earlier’ because they’ve got some players that need to make their way back to Europe and some of our players as well,” Monyepao said.

She added that because it was an international friendly, they wanted their visitors to be comfortable as well, and agreed.

Bafana fans left frustrated

Bafana Bafana fans are not happy with the SABC at the moment.

The state broadcaster is under fire from fans after they failed to televise Bafana Bafana’s friendly against DR Congo, Sports Brief reported.

The two sides met at the Orlando Stadium at 5 pm on September 12, but fans were caught off guard when they couldn’t find coverage of the game.

Byron Pillay photo
Byron Pillay
HOD- La Liga I Bundesliga I French Ligue
South AfricaHugo BroosSouth Africa Football Association (SAFA)