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S. Africa to host friendly football match with Brazil to mark 20 years of democracy

English.news.cn   2014-02-28 19:48:22

JOHANNESBURG, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- South Africa national football team will match against five-time World Cup champions, Brazil on March 5th to celebrate 20 years of the country' s freedom and democracy, and to handover its host of BRICS summit to Brazil, said South African Football Association (SAFA) on Thursday.

The match will be held at Johannesburg' s FNB stadium on March 5th at 7pm. It also marks the handing over of the baton from the 2010 World Cup hosts to this year' s host, Brazil, said SAFA.

"When we host Brazil, we will demonstrate our confidence in showing the world that sport is one of the key drivers of promoting social cohesion and nation-building in our country." said Gauteng Province Premier Nomvula Mokonyane during his briefing at SAFA.

"We will also use the match to remember the life and legacy of the late former President Nelson Mandela through sports knowing very well that he was not just the father of our nation, but a world icon who also appreciated the role sports play in promotion of unity in diversity." said the Premier.

"As the match will be on the eve of our 20 years of freedom celebrations, so as South Africa, we will use the hosting of Brazil as another opportunity to showcase our state of readiness in celebrating the 20 years of our freedom and democracy, but also re-emphasizing that there is a good story to tell about democracy and freedom in South Africa." added he.

"South Africa has been the chairperson of BRICS and we will use the match to hand over the chairpersonship to Brazil who will be chair this year." noted he.

This will be the last match for Brazil outside their country before their World Cup opening match against Croatia on 12 June at Sao Paolo.

Mokonyane reminded South Africans to rally behind Bafana Bafana (Nickname for South Africa national football team) and fly the South African flag.

Stadium Management CEO Jacques Grobbelaar said the pitch will also be in good condition and ready for the international friendly which is expected to be spectacular.

He added that so far 36,000 tickets had been sold for the match.

Danny Jordaan, President of SAFA, noted the match would mean special historically for both South Africa and Brazil.

"This match is extra special to us historically as you will remember that shortly after the dawn of our democracy, we played an international friendly match against Brazil, and the line-up of the Brazilian squad confirm that they too value and understand the importance of this match." he said.

"It is worth noting that Brazil chose to unveil their 2014 World Cup kit in our country and although, we are not going to the World Cup, we will also use the match to unveil our new kit," he added.

Bafana Bafana will be assembled on Sunday, while Brazil is expected to arrive in South Africa on Monday. South Africa has failed to beat Brazil in four previous outings, but all those matches have been closely contested, with the five-time world champions winning by one goal each time.

Editor: Fu Peng
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