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Home /  Nation  /  SAFA, SAIQ sign deal to form first Bafana and Banyana Supporters Club in ME

SAFA, SAIQ sign deal to form first Bafana and Banyana Supporters Club in ME

SAFA, SAIQ sign deal to form first Bafana and Banyana Supporters Club in ME

CATHERINE W GICHUKI
DOHA
The South African Football Association (SAFA) and the South Africans in Qatar (SAIQ) community group on Saturday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish the first Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana Supporters’ Club in the Middle East.
The announcement was made in Doha and Johannesburg on Saturday – exactly two years to the kickoff day of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar – during an event attended by SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan, Qatar Football Association General Secretary Mansoor Al Ansari and South Africa’s Ambassador to Qatar HE Faizel Moosa.
The launch of the Bafana and Banyana Supporters Club in Qatar is part of the bigger vision of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy’s (SC) Community Engagement Programme, through which communities in Qatar are encouraged to be part of their country’s 2022 journey as they participate in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, via community fan groups.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Ambassador Moosa said sport remains the bridge between nations and welcomed the forging of closer ties between the two countries.
“We encourage South African expatriates to come forward in the true spirit of Ubuntu and be the true South African ambassadors that we are to ensure that 2022 is a memorable experience for all those who will come to Qatar for the tournament,” he said.
On his part, Ansari said, “Official recognition for the Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana Supporters’ Club Qatar from the South African Football Association is symbolic of the strong football fan culture among residents in Qatar. There are many supporters’ groups in Qatar and they will all help to enhance the fan and cultural experience during the FIFA World Cup in 2022.”
As he joined the signing ceremony from Johannesburg via video conference, Dr Jordaan said, “South Africa, Russia and Qatar faced particularly common advantages and challenges. For South Africa, it was hosting Africa’s first FIFA World Cup in over 100 years and confronting all the negative perceptions of the African continent, but leaving people with smiles on their faces after the tournament.
“Russia hosted the first FIFA World Cup in Eastern Europe and the same misconceptions and negativity prevailed, but people walked away from the World Cup with a changed perception and understanding of the Russian people. Qatar too is hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and we are confident people are going to return home with a more positive perception of the Middle East, having experienced a wonderful, warm, people-driven World Cup.”
He added, “The establishment of the first Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana Supporters Club in the Middle East by the South African community in Qatar is a very positive developmen. We are doing all we can to ensure Bafana takes its place among the world’s football elite in Qatar in 2022. As the first African hosts of the FIFA World Cup, we are fully behind Qatar’s efforts to host the Middle East’s first FIFA World Cup. We have no doubt it will be an excellent, world-class event played in incredible, modern stadia in a beautiful football-loving country.”
Run by community representatives and enthusiasts of sport and football, Samantha Abrahams, Brad Habana, Xolani Holomisa and Bernard Lodge, the South Africans in Qatar Supporters Club is open to all South African expatriates in Qatar.
Some initiatives the South African community has hosted in Qatar included the establishment of a Boktown public viewing area for Springbok matches during the 2019 Rugby World Cup. It has also supported Brand South Africa and South African Tourism with marketing initiatives in the Middle East.

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