The South African Football Association, SAFA, and the Ministry of Health have reached an agreement to allow fans back into stadiums. The only stipulation for the return is that you have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“In a meeting at SAFA House on Monday, 4 October 2021 attended by a delegation from the Ministry of Health, headed by Dr Phaahla and from the South African Football Association (SAFA) headed by President Dr Danny Jordaan, the Minister of Health said the return of fans to the stadium was a win-win situation in the bigger scheme of things,” read a statement issued by SAFA.
Football supporters have not been able to go and cheer their teams inside stadiums since March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic caused shutdowns to almost every sector of society. The test for the full return of vaccinated fans will be the CAF 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier between South Africa and Ethiopia on the 12th of October at FNB Stadium.
"It is a win-win situation, it will spur all and sundry, the clubs, players, and the football business,” said an elated Phaahla.
Dr Phaahla called on all football stakeholders to get vaccinated, re-iterating that those who do get the jab will not be allowed into the stadium.
"We also want other sectors to return to normalcy once the majority of the population is vaccinated," explained Phaahla.
The vaccination drive has not been received with the vigour that the government was looking for, with many people expressing doubt over the vaccine's side-effects amongst other conspiracy theories.
Meanwhile, there are two changes to the Bafana Bafana squad that will face Ethiopia in front of fans. Supersport FC duo, Luke Fluers, and Jesse Donn have replaced Goodman Mosele and Mosa Lebusa. South Africa will certainly be boosted by the return of the 12th man, a vaccinated one of course.
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