The xenophobic attacks that have engulfed South Africa this week, forced the South African Football Association (SAFA) on Thursday to call off Bafana Bafana’s camp following the rejection by their opponents this week.
Bafana were scheduled to play Zambia in an international friendly match in Lusaka on Saturday, but the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) called off that game citing the attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa as the reason.
SAFA then secured Madagascar as a replacement, but they also pulled out on Thursday evening on similar grounds.
SAFA was left with no option, but to call off the camp and return the players back to the clubs, the organisation’s .
SAFA President Danny Jordaan has condemned the xenophobic attacks.
SABC Sport understands that an organisation called Zambians Association in South Africa (ZASA) called FAZ to ask them to call off the game as it wouldn’t have made sense to continue with the game.
The Malagasy national team was said to be ready to jump onto the flight to Johannesburg when the call came that they should call off the game as Jordaan explained in a hastily arranged press conference on Thursday night.
With South African businesses around the continent receiving some backlash and some embassies being burnt like in Zambia, there’s a feeling that the SA government is not treating these latest xenophobic attacks with the urgency it deserves.
Jordaan says this is a serious matter that should be condemned by everybody in the country.
With next month’s FIFA international week also assigned to international friendlies, there’s a concern that Bafana will continue to struggle to get international friendly matches with the AFCON 2021 qualifiers around the corner in November.
Jordaan, who is also the Vice-President of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), says he’s also informed the continental mother body about these developments. – Report by Velile Mnyandu