South African Football Association (SAFA) President, Kirsten Nematandani has hailed the recently ended AFCON tournament as a resounding success and another reason why South Africa is a destination of choice for major sporting events.
The three week-tournament ended on Sunday, 10 February with the final featuring winners Nigeria and surprise package Burkina Faso which saw the Super Eagles beat their West African neighbours 1-0 to win the coveted trophy.
"In terms of the size and behaviour of the crowds, standard of play, organisation and general atmosphere, the tournament has set a benchmark for future AFCON tournaments. The atmosphere at the Final was electric and being beamed across the globe, again demonstrated Mzansi's ability to host major tournaments," said the SAFA President.
"It is important to acknowledge key stakeholders who made the event the success it was. This has to start with the State President, Honourable Jacob Zuma, Minister of Sport, Fikile Mbalula and the South African Government for giving this project their unqualified support. To CEO, Mvuzo Mbebe and his AFCON team, I would like to extend my special thanks. It is also vital to acknowledge the contribution made by the volunteers and all of the fans who supported the event. Finally, I would like to acknowledge the contribution of the media who played their part in the excellent coverage of the tournament."
SAFA President said despite Bafana being knocked out in the quarter finals, South Africans continued to support the tournament as was witnessed in the subsequent final four games.
"As a Nation we did a great job in creating a hosting environment that made all of Africa feel welcome. This morning I woke up as a proud South African, and am now looking forward to doing it all again in 2014 when South Africa hosts the African Nation Championships (CHAN), " he concluded.