South Africa hosts of the third Orange Africa Nations Championship 2014 is a resourceful country and quite adept and making the most from any situation thrown at them. Back in 2010 when the country became the first and only African state to host FIFA World Cup when the national side affectionately known as Bafana Bafana bombed out of the competition at group stage, instead of wallowing in sorrow the locals simply adopted an African country that was still in the competition. That team was Ghana who carried the hopes of the continent as far as the quarter finals and came close to a semi-final berth. South Africans coined a new word, “BaGhana BaGhana” and rallied behind the Black Stars their newly adopted team.
Fast-forward to 2014 and Bafana Bafana bomb out of the CHAN tournament and its déjà vu time, the locals are again out to adopt a new team. At the start of the tournament there were three teams from the COSAFA region (South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe) but as the completion advances to quarter finals only one remains. That team is Zimbabwe, South’s northern neighbour and the Zimbabwean Warriors’ 1-0 win over Burkina Faso at Cape Town’s Athlone stadium on Monday 20th January turned out to be the panacea the South Africans were looking for. The night of Zimbabwe’s win ushered the birth of “BaWarior BaWarrior”, the new team which South Africans have turned to. “That’s how we do it here my friend. We have learnt to deal with the disappointment that comes with supporting Bafana and we ready ourselves to cheering on another team, once Bafana are out, so amaWarriors of Zimbabwe will do just right “said Katlego Nkamane from Bloemfontein.
“You need a Plan B if you are supporting Bafana Bafana in any competition especially at home and more often you will put that plan into action. I was hoping to see Bafana here in Mangaung for the semis and have tickets but now l am keeping my fingers crossed that Zimbabwe will go past Mali and come here. l have some Zim friends and hope we can watch and support the Warriors together” said Khanyisa Bala.
The semis finals are scheduled for Mangaung on Wednesday 29th January with the final in Cape Town on Saturday February 1st. Bafana Bafana rarely play here Mangaung and l was hoping it might been possible this time round with this CHAN tournament but l also somehow expected some disappointment from Bafana, eish we are used to it you know but l am a football fan and l will enjoy the rest of the tournament and of the remaining sides l think l will give my backing to fellow Southern Africans, Zimbabwe, l guess it’s “BaWarrior BaWarrior” time again for us South Africans” said Sello Maputsoe
Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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