20 January 2013

South Africa: Safa Honours Five Players for Reaching 50 Caps

The South African Football Association (SAFA) has honoured five players who recently reached a 50-mark cap milestone.

The ceremony was held in Durban at the team's hotel on Sunday, 20 January 2013, a day after two of them, Katlego Mphela and Bernard Parker accumulated those caps in a goalless draw with Cape Verde.

SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani awarded the five players with framed jerseys which were signed by the players, and spotted the number 50.

Those who received the accolades are Siboniso Gaxa (54 caps); Itumeleng Khune (51); Kagisho Dikgacoi (51); Bernard Parker (50) and Mphela (50).

"On behalf of SAFA, I would like to say congratulations to these five players and many more that have walked this path. This is a very important milestone and not many get to reach it, and for that all five of you need to be proud of your achievements.

"Your role in this current Bafana Bafana squad is very crucial in that you are the foundation of this team, and the young ones can learn from you. And to those who are still travelling this road, what we see today shows it can be done only if you put your mind to it," said Nematandani.

The ceremony was also attended by the Mayor of EThekwini Municipality Councillor James Nxumalo, who welcomed the team to Durban.

"On behalf of the City of EThekwini and the Province of KwaZulu Natal I would like to welcome you to Durban, which you all know is a happy hunting ground for Bafana Bafana. Just know that you have our full support, and we have no doubt that you will win when you play Angola in your second match on Wednesday," said Councillor Nxumalo.

"As a City we are ready for the tournament and we have prepared thoroughly to host the continent. We are currently left with just over 2,500 tickets and we believe by match day they will all be gone. All the best Bafana Bafana."

Midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala is the most capped in the current squad with 74 caps, while former captain Aaron Mokoena is highest capped South African on 107.

The five players join an illustrious group of players who have represented South Africa more than 50 times:

Aaron Mokoena 107

Siyabonga Nomvethe 82

Benni McCarthy 80

Shaun Bartlett 74

Siphiwe Tshabalala 74

Delron Buckley 73

John Moshoeu 73

Lucas Radebe 70

Andre Arendse 67

Sibusiso Zuma 67

Helman Mkhalele 66

Teko Modise 66

Steven Pienaar 62

Macbeth Sibaya 62

Mark Fish 62

Phil Masinga 58

Siboniso Gaxa 54

Neil Tovey 52

Kagisho Dikgacoi 51

Itumeleng Khune 51

Doctor Khumalo 50

Katlego Mphela 50

Bernard Parker 50

Here's a brief fact file of the five players and their caps:

1. Siboniso Gaxa (54 caps)

Debut: 12 June 2005, Cape Verde, 2006 World Cup qualifier, (voted man of the match) played in Praia

50: vs Gabon, 15 June 2012, international friendly match, Mbombela

2. Kagisho Dikgacoi (51 caps)

Debut: 27 June 2007, vs Swaziland, Cosafa Castle Cup, Somhlolo Stadium, Swaziland

50: vs Algeria, 12 January 2013, friendly international match, Orlando Stadium

3. Itumeleng Khune (51 caps)

Debut: 11 March 2008, v Zimbabwe international friendly, Germiston

50: v Algeria, international friendly, 12 January 2013, Orlando Stadium

4. Bernard Parker (50 caps)

Debut: 26 June 2007, Cosafa Castle Cup semi-final, Somhlolo Stadium, Swaziland (scored in the penalty shootout of that match)

50: vs Cape Verde, Afcon 2013, 19 January 2013

5. Katlego Mphela (50)

Debut: 26 February 2005, vs Seychelles, Cosafa Castle Cup, Curepipe, Seychelles (scored two goals in that match)

50: SA v Cape Verde National Stadium, Afcon 2013, National Stadium 19 January 2013

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