Madagascar has pulled out of Saturday’s planned friendly match hastily arranged
by the South African Football Association after their initial opponent Zambia pulled
out of the friendly a few days ago.
The Bafana Bafana were originally set to face Zambia in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia
as part of their warm-up fixtures before their AFCON qualifiers in November but the
match was cancelled on Tuesday after Zambia withdrew citing xenophobic attacks on
foreign nationals in South Africa.
The South African Football Association (SAFA) hastily arranged a replacement with
Madagascar and even announced free entry for supporters attending the fixture at
Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
The statement read:
“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.”
Bafana Bafana confirmed the cancellation of the match in a tweet by the South African FA tweeted.