Safa making plans for Bafana’s reception after Afcon heroics
The South African Football Association (Safa) is formulating plans for a reception for Bafana Bafana on their arrival back in South Africa from winning the bronze medal at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Ivory Coast.
A complicating factor is the their early arrival time at 4am on Wednesday.
Safa are understood to be working with government to formulate a plan for a reception at a more accessible time for the public to greet coach Hugo Broos and his national side, who reached the Afcon semifinals for the first time in 24 years.
Bafana defeated the Democratic Republic of Congo on penalties in Saturday's third-place playoff in Abidjan.
Supporters are expected to be keen to give the team a warm welcome when they arrive back in the country with Afcon bronze medals hanging around their necks.
Safa head of communication Mninawa Ntloko said the association will communicate its plans once they are finalised.
TimesLIVE understands the national and Gauteng governments and Safa's financial partners would like to be part of a well-publicised event to welcome the squad and give supporters a chance to celebrate with the players.
Bafana, ranked 66th in the world and 12th in Africa, exceeded expectations at the Afcon.
They started on a low note when they lost their opening game 2-0 to Mali. They went on to win their next game convincingly against Namibia (4-0) and draw against Tunisia to progress as second-placed finishers in Group E.
Bafana shocked 2022 World Cup semifinalists Morocco 2-0 in the last 16 and beat Cape Verde on penalties in the quarterfinals before losing the semifinal to Nigeria, also on penalties.
The bronze medal is not the only prize they bring home. Bafana took Afcon’s Fair Play award, which is adjudged on the number of yellow and red cards a team receives.
Captain and goalkeeper Ronwen Williams was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
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