Jordaan confirmed that Safa would meet with Health Minister Joe Phaahla tomorrow to seek clarity on the proposed move to have fans in FNB Stadium next week. Photo: Gallo images
- SAFA’s chief medical officer Thulani Ngwenya said Tuesday’s 2022 World Cup Qualifier between South Africa and Ethiopia will be used as a pilot project to test how fans will be eased in.
- 2000 fans will be allowed to attend the match.
- Bafana coach Hugo Broos said it will be a strange feeling having fans back for matches.
The South African Football Association chief medical officer Thulani Ngwenya said Tuesday’s Group G 2020 World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Ethiopia at the FNB Stadium will be a pilot project to see how fans will be accommodated in stadiums in SA.
On Monday, government regulations were fully amended to allow 2000 vaccinated fans to attend sporting events at outdoor venues.
2000 fans in the cavernous 94000-seater FNB Stadium may come across as a drop in the ocean, but Ngwenya has viewed it as a welcome return and also explained how fans will be accessing the stadium on Tuesday through a link that’ll accept the first 2000 vaccinated fans
“Tuesday’s game will be a pilot project to check our systems and to see that everything will be in place,” Ngwenya said.
“There’s a link that’ll go up at 4pm and those who apply will have to be fully vaccinated. The link will require all the necessary individual details.
“The application will then come through to us and when the 2000-limit is reached, the system will then shut down.
“The 2000 people will be verified on the EVDS system through the Department of Health and the applicants will receive an email or sms stating that they can come to the stadium.”
Ngwenya said fans who have their applications approved will be seated on the eastern side of the ground and Covid-19 screening processes will be followed at the stadium
“When they come to the stadium, they have to bring their identification, along with the verification from the application,” Ngwenya said.
“They also need to come with their printed or digital vaccination card, from where they will verified at the ground, from where they’ll receive their wristband and will be directed to a specific seat.
“The fans will be on the east side of the ground and the fans will be screened on entry before they proceed to their seats.”
Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos said the feeling of playing in front of fans will be strange, but will also be much needed.
“It’s going to be a little bit strange because of the amount of time they haven’t played in front of fans,” Broos said.
“However, that’s also a very important thing because there will be support for us. There can be bad moments in the game and you need your support.
“In the previous months, you had to do it yourself, but there are supporters now and we hope we’ll hear them.”
Bafana defender Rushine de Reuck said at times it felt like some of their fixtures felt like friendlies because of a lack of crowds.
“It was very difficult to find motivation to play. At times, it felt like we were playing friendly matches,” De Reuck said.
“Now to have fans back will be a big motivating factor for us and also, playing in front of fans for the national team, I don’t know if there’s a better feeling.
“We’ll try our best to win the match on Tuesday.”