Xenophobia affects South African football

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Xenophobia affects South African football

SOUTH AFRICA

In a week where xenophobic attacks in South Africa dominated the news, sports was not spared.

Zambia’s football federation on Wednesday called off a friendly match against South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, citing “prevailing security concerns in South Africa” for canceling the fixture even though Zambia were hosting the game.

The Zambia-South Africa match will be rescheduled to be played during the October window for internationals.

The South African Football Association are trying to find alternative opponents, with local media reporting that they are in talks with Madagascar to host a fixture in Johannesburg.

In more football news, the much anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is shaping up, and this week, the logo for the tournament was unveiled.

The swooping curves of the emblem represent the undulations of desert dunes and the unbroken loop depicts the number eight – highlighting the eight stadiums that will host the World Cup matches – and the infinity symbol, which reflects the interconnected nature of the event, according to tournament organisers.

Meanwhile, African countries hoping to play at the World Cup in Qatar, started their qualifying campaign on Wednesday.

Liberia needed two penalties and a calamitous defensive error to beat Sierra Leone 3-1.
Djibouti edged Eswatini 2-1 
Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and Namibia won away while Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho and Tanzania forced away draws to give themselves a good chance of advancing

More first-round first-leg matches are being played on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with the second legs scheduled for Sunday and Tuesday.

The 28 bottom-ranked countries in Africa are participating in the first knockout round, with the winners moving onto next year’s group stage where they will be joined by the 26 top-ranked teams and placed into 10 groups of four.

And lastly, African nations are making history at the ongoing Basketball World Cup in China. Ivory Coast, Angola, Nigeria, Tunisia and Senegal are representing the continent.

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