Pretoria: The CEO of the Local Organising Committee of the CHAN 2014, Mvuzo Mbebe, has expressed his full satisfaction with the high quality football that has been on show from the onset of the tournament.
“We said it at the beginning that when CHAN leaves these shores, it will be viewed as a totally different tournament. “We confidently dubbed it Africa’s Home Champions, with the aim of elevating it to a level that is befitting to the rich football talent that Africa possesses.
“Not only have we witnessed great football but once again, Africa has stood up and united at various stadiums to show their love and support for the beautiful game.
“We are at the final stages of the tournament and we now challenge Africans to come out in their numbers as we witness another African giant arise in the form of CHAN,” he said.
Mbebe’s sentiments were echoed by CAF Secretary General Hicham El Amrani, who said: “We are quite satisfied with what has been displayed so far on and off the pitch.
“As we enter the semi-finals, we are confident that the best is yet to come. We hope that fans will come in their numbers to Mangaung to be part of the history, enjoy the games and see how Africa is gifted with talented young players.”
Standing at a record total of 72 goals being scored after 28 matches, the Orange CHAN 2014 is currently averaging at 2.6 goals per match, an impressive record compared to the recently held AFCON 2013 with its 2.16 goals scored for the whole tournament.
The quality and commitment from the players eager to lift their nations’ flags high up into the African skies is testimony to outstanding display of pure African football talent.
CHAN has affirmed CAF’s vision of celebrating Africa’s Home Champions where locally based players are given the opportunity to showcase to their world their talent.
Equally the outstanding leadership of the three coaches, who are nationals of the teams proceeding to the semi-final Stephen Keshi for Nigeria, Ian Gorowa of Zimbabwe and Maxwell Konadu from Ghana are true testimonies that when national duty calls and nations pride is at stake, they have lived up to the occasion.
Football lovers have also witnessed some exciting talent emerging during the tournament with the likes of Nigerian sensation Christantus Uzoenyi, who has been a livewire for the West Africans, scoring three vital goals.
Young Zimbabwean shot-stopper George Chigova has been outstanding, with him only conceding a solitary goal for the Warriors.
Abdelsalam Omar has also been in fine form for Libya, hitting the back of the net three times while Richard Mpong’s consistent performance has been instrumental in the Ghanaian team.
Tomorrow, Nigeria will face Ghana, while the Warriors of Zimbabwe (amaZim-zim) will take on Libya in the highly anticipated semi-finals at the Free State Stadium at 5pm and 8:30pm respectively.