President Jacob Zuma today, 5 February 2013, received a courtesy call from Confederation of African Football (CAF) President Issa Hayatou at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.
The CAF President was accompanied by four Executive members as well as SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani and Danny Jordan.
At the meeting, President Zuma thanked CAF for entrusting South Africa (SA) with hosting the Orange Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2013 tournament. He expressed his appreciation, on behalf of the country and all soccer-loving people, at the professional manner in which the games have been organised, as well as the sheer talent and high level competition on display and promised that the best was yet to come in the semi-finals and the final match of the African soccer spectacular.
"Although we would all have loved South Africa to play in the final and even win this cup, we understand the nature of football and that only one team can win. I urge the South African nation to rally behind the four remaining teams of Nigeria, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Mali. The resounding success of this tournament is Africa's success, "said President Zuma.
"No longer do we have two or three African nations dominating the games, but now the teams all have a healthy balance, making it difficult to predict who the ultimate winner would be in every game. We think that shows how Africans have developed their game," added the President.
Mr Hayatou, on behalf of CAF, thanked SA for coming to Africa's rescue by hosting the tournament when Libya could no longer do it. He also thanked South Africa for being such a reliable partner and supporter of African Football. He further expressed his gratitude at President Zuma for taking his time despite his government's hectic schedule at the time, to attend the games as well as spend a few moments with the African soccer leadership. "The comraderie and sporting spirit in this CAF tournament has been palpable and memorable and I also appreciate working in such harmony with the South African Football Association and AFCON LOC" said Mr Hayatou.
SAFA President Mr Nematandani also thanked President Zuma for his time and love for soccer and sport generally. He reported that whereas their ticket sales target had been 500 000 sales, they had now sold over 800 000 tickets already, exceeding their own expectations. CAF then presented President Zuma with a gift.
Issued by: The Presidency