Cape Town — Bafana Bafana's friendly against Madagascar this Saturday has been called off after the African island nation decided to withdraw from the encounter.
Bafana were originally set to face Zambia in Lusaka as part of their warm-up fixtures before crucial their AFCON qualifiers in November but the match was cancelled on Tuesday Zambia withdrew citing xenophobic violence in South Africa.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) hastily arranged a replacement in the form of Madagascar and even announced free entry for supporters attending the fixture at Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
The news just adds more dissapointment for new Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki who would have taken charge of his first match for the national side had the fixture gone ahead.
The press statement reads as follows:
The Malagasy Football Federation (FMF) has been approached by the South African Football Federation (SAFA) to organize a friendly match between the national team of Madagascar and that of South Africa.
Honoured by this consideration, and finding the interesting opportunity to prepare the Malagasy national team for the different deadlines that await them, the FMF initially gave its agreement in principle for the organisation of the meeting.
However, after having agreed with Malagasy national institutions in particular regarding the security of the delegation of Madagascar and Malagasy nationals in South Africa, it was found necessary and judicious to decline the invitation.
The Malagasy national team will continue its reunion in Madagascar and will see its elements return to their respective clubs after the FIFA date.
Finally, the FMF apologises to SAFA for the efforts they have begun to organise the meeting, and also supporters of Malagasy football who looked forward to the match.
Breaking News: SAFA regrets to inform the public that the match between Bafana Bafana and Madagascar scheduled for this coming Saturday (7 September) has been called off after the visitors (Madagascar) decided to withdraw from the encounter. pic.twitter.com/HVD6nRLu4r-- Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) September 5, 2019