EFF's Julius Malema steps in to try to save Bafana Bafana's blushes
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leaders Julius Malema has joined a last-minute attempt to push ticket sales to Saturday's 2018 World Cup qualifier between Bafana Bafana and Burkina Faso.
Ticket sales to the encounter have been very slow and the game runs the risk of becoming one of the most poorly attended matches in the history of the national team.
Malema took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to encourage South Africans to attend the match after TimesLIVE revealed on Tuesday that only 300 had been sold.
The EFF also released a statement to edge people to go all out and support the ailing national team.
"The EFF calls on all South Africans to support our national soccer team, Bafana Bafana in their upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso.
"This is in light of the reports of low ticket sales which means there will practically be no fan support for our National team in this game.
"As a nation, we are not known to be quitters who give up on our own. We must demonstrate hope by always showing up in numbers.
"The game of soccer always depends on the moral support the players get from fans and we as a nation must be there to provide this moral support," reads part of the statement.
But the EFF leader had a difficult time convincing supporters to attend the game‚ even though prices have been lowered from R100 to R50‚ as many of them are still upset after Bafana's lacklustre performances in the back-to-back qualifiers against Cape Verde last month that left SA's chances of reaching the Russia showpiece hanging by the thinnest of threads.
But Bafana's Proteas and Springbok counterparts have no such problems and capacity crowds are expected in Bloemfontein and Cape Town this weekend.
Despite failing again to wrestle the Rugby Championship from New Zealand‚ the Springboks can look forward to a capacity crowd of just over 51 000 at Newlands Saturday when they wrap up this years’ campaign against the already crowned All Blacks.
Rugby fans had to fork out between R150 and R950 to watch the Springboks entertain the All Blacks.
In Bloemfontein‚ where the Proteas will be in action against Bangladesh at the Mangaung Oval‚ tickets are selling between R40 and R120 and Cricket South Africa (CSA) officials are expecting a capacity crowd of about 20 000 on Saturday and Sunday.
It was not clear at the time of writing on Thursday afternoon where the attendance figures stood for the Bafana vs Burkina match‚ and the cricket Test in Bloemfontein.