Mokoena hopes Safa hosts belated 2010 celebration, and invites Parreira

Former Bafana Bafana captain Aaron Mokoena attends a Budweiser Game of Kings announcement at Huddle Park Golf Course in Johannesburg in August 2019.
Former Bafana Bafana captain Aaron Mokoena attends a Budweiser Game of Kings announcement at Huddle Park Golf Course in Johannesburg in August 2019.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana's 2010 World Cup captain Aaron Mokoena hopes the SA Football Association (Safa) will still plan some kind of event to commemorate a decade since the hosting of the global showpiece, and that then-coach Carlos Alberto Parreira is invited.

Mokoena said he was disappointed that Safa appeared not to have organised a commemoration match, with no announcement having been made by March, even before the coronavirus derailed international football.

Visiting SA in early March, Germany's 1990 World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthaus said he was surprised the 2010 host country had not organised a 10-year commemoration match, for example against that year's World Cup winners, Spain.

Mokoena said that it is not too late to still hold a belated event.

“There are many ways to do this. It could even still be done in December or next year,” the ex-Blackburn Rovers defender said.

“I think that, yes, it was supposed to be organised. But I think clearly, to show that it had never been planned, if it was going to happen it could have been planned last year already.”

Mokoena said such a match could be accompanied by a reunion event including Bafana’s Brazilian 2010 World Cup coach Parreira, his assistant Jairo Leal, and the members of the 2010 Bafana squad.

“I mean we're talking 10 years. It's the 20-year anniversary of a perfect World Cup. A World Cup that no-one in the world could ever have thought that SA could host,” Mokoena said. “So it was supposed to be done. And it can be arranged still. It needs to be. It's a milestone. But again, who am I?”

June 11 marked 10 years since Bafana opened the 2010 World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Mexico. Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the final, also at Soccer City, on July 11.

South Africa went on to a 3-0 defeat against eventual semifinalists Uruguay and 2-1 win against France, which was not enough to progress past Group A in the opening round.


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