Safa chief medical officer Dr Ngwenya explains plan to be followed at FNB Stadium on Tuesday

11 October 2021 - 15:25
SA Football Association chief medical officer Dr Thulani Ngwenya.
SA Football Association chief medical officer Dr Thulani Ngwenya.
Image: Sydney Mahlangu/BackpagePix

The SA Football Association (Safa) has revealed the plan that will be followed to allow a limited number of lucky fans into FNB Stadium to watch Bafana Bafana confront Ethiopia in a crunch 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

Only 2,000 vaccinated fans will be allowed into the 2010 World Cup venue and it will be the first time a South African stadium opens its gates since the coronavirus pandemic brought the world to its knees more than a year ago.

Co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on Monday amended regulation 69 of the Disaster Management Act to pave the way for the historic occasion and Safa chief medical officer, Dr Thulani Ngwenya, explained the process that will be followed.

“I need to clarify that this is a pilot project and it is done to check that all the systems we have put in place are adequate and ready to start allowing spectators back, and allowing the stadiums to go back to full capacity in a phased manner,” he said.

“The process we are going to undertake is that people are going to apply online and the link will be up on Monday afternoon, and once we reach 2,000 applications, the system will then shut off.

“Then those people [who applied] will receive an automatic SMS or email, and it will come to their phones saying that we have received their applications. They will then be verified on the system to check whether they are fully vaccinated, because one of the requirements, in fact, the most important requirement, is for you to be vaccinated for us to allow you to come into the stadium.”

Ngwenya said the SMS will also say the fan can come to the stadium.

“When coming to the stadium, you need to come with your original ID, you need to come with that message you received and you need to also come with your vaccination card, either digital or a printed one. Those will be checked against the information you received on the system so that we make sure it is indeed the right person we are allowing in.

“It is then that you will be given the ticket to access the stadium.

“So all the fans will be coming through Gate M and they will be sitting on the west wing. The ushers will be there to show them where they are supposed to go. Like I said, this is a pilot project, so please do not come to the stadium when you are not fully vaccinated, and when you have not applied, because you will not be allowed to pass through the first gate because you will need that certificate, and you will need to be verified.”

The Safa doctor appealed to fans to arrive at the venue with time to spare so that the verification process does not end up delaying the start of the eagerly anticipated encounter.

“Please come early so that we allow you to come in on time and so that we do not have a stampede, and also we do not have a situation where the game has to be delayed because there are people outside. That is it in a nutshell.”