Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos and defender Rushine de Reuck have asked the 2,000 fans expected at FNB Stadium for the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia to pump up the volume and create an intimidating atmosphere on Tuesday.
Only 2,000 vaccinated fans will be allowed through the turnstiles in what will be the first sporting event in the country to take place in front of an audience since the outbreak of Covid-19 early in 2020.
Bafana take on Ethiopia after beating them 3-1 in the away leg last weekend. Victory at home will see the South Africans consolidate their lead at the top of Group G with two matches remaining.
“It will be a little strange,” Broos said of playing in front of fans. “It has been about 18 months since the team last played in front of fans, but the most important thing is that it will be support for us. When you have a bad moment in the game, you need the supporters to lift the players.
“In the previous months, the players had to do it by themselves. Now they will have that support, even though it will only be 2,000. I hope they will be very loud because it will give us motivation.
“Let’s hope the 2,000 fans will be behind us and it will be great support.”
De Reuck, one of the key members of Broos’s new dawn in the national team, agreed that playing in front of fans will motivate the players.
It was difficult to play in empty stadiums “because sometimes it felt like you were playing a friendly match”.
“When you are playing for the national team in front of fans, it is something very special.
“I am very excited about it and hopefully we will do well because they are going to boost us as they will be in our corner and rooting for us for the entire match,” De Reuck said.
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