Johannesburg: The 2013 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) will be used as another aftermath that will be hailed by all as a huge success like the 2010 FIFA World Cup, says Local Organising Committee chairman Chief Mwelo Nonkonyane.
“South Africans should expect a seamless and bigger event next year, if during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we’ve managed to get 9 out of 10 in terms of successfully hosting the event, during the Afcon, we cannot afford to get lower marks.
“As South Africans, let us not support this tournament less than what we did during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“As a country and a continent, we want to use our continental tournament to celebrate our success for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, so in this regard we want to urge South Africans to be fully behind this tournament through buying match tickets,” he said.
Nonkonyane was speaking at the flag-raising ceremony of the 16 teams that qualified for the 2013 Afcon tournament held at the South African Football Association (Safa) house, outside Johannesburg, on Friday.
South Africa will host the 2013 Afcon tournament which kicks off from 19 January until 10 February.
The flag ceremony kicked off with a tribute to the late Bafana assistant coach. Madigage, 41, who passed away in a car accident in the early hours of Friday morning after his car hit a donkey on the road.
Speaking at the event, Safa President, Kirsten Namatandani said they had decided to fly the South African flag at half-mast at Safa in honour of the fallen great footballer until his funeral – which is yet to be announced.
He said the untimely death of Madigage has left a great void in the national team. “Indeed, this is a great loss not only to his family, but to the country and the football fraternity, Bafana head coach Gordon Igesund has suffered a major blow,” he said.
Nematandani also announced that together with other Safa senior officials, they will visit Madigage family in Sekhukhune Limpopo today.
The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has scheduled the draw for the tournament to take place on Wednesday 24 October in Durban.
Fifteen teams, who emerged from final qualifiers, will join hosts South Africa for the draw to determine the first round groups for the tournament.
The 2013 line-up includes the defending champions Zambia, Ivory Coast, Mali, Ghana, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Morocco, Niger and Angola, and Cape Verde, Algeria, Angola, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Niger, Nigeria, Togo and the host South Africa.
Soccer City will stage the January 19 opening double-header and the final at the 93 000-seat Soccer City stadium with the other 29 games divided between Durban, Nelspruit, Port Elizabeth and Rustenburg.