Bafana Bafana defender says more national team games should be staged in Bloemfontein

A Bafana Bafana defender described the experience of playing at a packed Free State Stadium a welcome change after the national team's struggles to attract fans in recent years, saying more matches should be held in Bloemfontein.

A capacity crowd played a significant role in Bafana's 3-1 victory over Zimbabwe in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein two weeks ago.

This marked the national team's first return to Bloemfontein since their 2-1 win against France during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The Free State province has a strong appetite for football, likely due to the absence of a local club in the PSL – both DStv Premiership and Motsepe Foundation Championship. This comes after Free State Stars and Bloemfontein Celtic sold their statuses.

Mothobi Mvala, a native of the Free State, described playing in front of his home crowd as an amazing experience. 

He believes the people of Free State have a deep love for football and expressed his desire for the national team to play more games in Bloemfontein.

Another Bafana Bafana player from the Free State who was in action was Teboho Mokoena.

BAFANA BAFANA DEFENDER – ‘I HOPE WE HAVE MORE GAMES IN BLOEMFONTEIN’

“I was very happy especially to play at home in front of a packed stadium like that in the Free State,” said Mvala as quoted by The Citizen.

“What we knew as a team was that it was going to be packed and they will be pushing us from the first minute to the 90th minute and we didn’t want to disappoint them.

“We wanted to leave the stadium with three points and put a smile on their faces and to also give them something that they can be proud of which I hope that we did because we know that there is no team in Bloemfontein.

“People there love soccer and we did our best and personally I also think I played well and we help the team to win. The support was amazing and I hope we will have more games in Bloemfontein.”

Bafana mentor Hugo Broos also praised the fans after match, stating he hadn't witnessed such a passionate crowd since taking charge of SA.

He also called for more matches to be held in Bloemfontein.

‘SINCE I ARRIVED I HAVE NEVER HAD THE ATMOSPHERE LIKE TODAY'

“I am happy with this fantastic crowd,” said Broos.

“Everyone can see what a good crowd can do. The fans were behind the players. When you have a crowd like this, you go over the limit. 

“In the second half, we got more and more confident and the fans were amused. It was a fantastic evening.

“(Mothobi) Mvala is from the region, (Teboho) Mokoena is from the region and the people of the Free State are very grateful for that. 

“This makes me very happy, you also saw after the game they wanted to see us back (singing with them). They are really, really good supporters and I think for the future we have to think about playing more games here at this stadium.

“Since I arrived, that's three years, I'd never had the atmosphere like today. You'll always produce good performances when you have a crowd like this behind you.”

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Nkosiyabuya Sithole

Nkosiyabuya Sithole, a young and rising sports journalist based in Durban, South Africa, harbors a deep passion for football. Nevertheless, he aspires to become a well-rounded journalist, adept in various areas of the field.

Nkosi's career began in 2020, working as a home-based writer during the COVID-19 pandemic. He has since written for various websites, including Briefly News, FiND-iT News, and The South African. Attending live sporting events is a particular pleasure for him, as they provide opportunities for interaction with sports personalities.

Outside of the office, he's a God-fearing and affable young man.