Spectators allowed to attend SA-Zimbabwe World Cup qualifier match

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Bafana Bafana’s next 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier will be against Zimbabwe on the 11th of November at the FNB Stadium. In Bafana’s last outing at the same venue on the 12th of October, two thousand fully vaccinated spectators were allowed into the venue.

Next week Thursday, Bafana Bafana will once again enjoy the presence of the 12th-man.

South Africa will be at home against Zimbabwe at the FNB Stadium.

Bafana are at the top of Group G with 10 points from four matches in their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. They won three of those matches and the only dent was the draw against Zimbabwe in Harare on the 3rd of September.

The Hugo Broos-led men are one point ahead of Ghana.

After four matches, Zimbabwe are at the bottom of the group with the point they gained against South Africa two months ago.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still an issue in terms of supporters’ attendance. But the South African Football Association’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Thulani Ngwenya, says they are pushing for vaccination.

“The tests that were done in the game against Ethiopia were great lessons. They were used for the MTN8 game and the rugby matches that are taking place. The golden objective is to reach head immunity. That is why we are pushing vaccination. Everyone who is outside Zone One and Zone Two should be fully vaccinated to get access to the stadium. Everyone who will be working, including the spectators, should be fully vaccinated to get access into the stadium.”

Last month when Bafana took on Ethiopia at the FNB stadium, 2 000 supporters were in attendance. Stadium Management South Africa’s Bertie Grobbelaar says a limited number of supporters will once again be allowed to attend the Bafana match next week.

“Tickets are going on sale now. The allocation is 1 500 and 84 tickets on sale via the ticket master platform. It’s a digital purchasing process.”

Grobbelaar says security will be tight and there are documents that will have to be produced for one to be granted entry into the stadium.

“Lessons learnt from the other events will apply where you will need to access the venue with your ID card, physical ticket. Tickets will be issued with your name. The ticket is scanned and verified with your ID. Your vaccination card will also be scanned and verified.”

Match to kick off at 9 pm

This will be the last Bafana Bafana home match for the year. SAFA is confident that the government will amend regulations that will allow for more fans to attend matches in future.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 9 o’clock in the evening with the midnight curfew allowing fans a bit more time to return to their homes. But SAFA is still in consultation with FIFA to try and move the match to an earlier time.

“We are trying our best to request FIFA to look at moving the game although we know the challenges that they are having bearing in mind that these are the last games that they have for the group stages and a lot of things do happen to have during the last matches. So they want to ensure that they are able to monitor every situation that is happening,” says Mzwandile Maforvane, SAFA Competitions Manager.

Meanwhile, the Ethiopian Football Association and the Football Association of Malawi have also made requests to the South African government to have fans attend their respective matches. -Additional reporting by Lebohang Dube