- Bafana Bafana might not be playing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but there are some South African connections
- South Africa will be represented on the field by referee Zakhele Siwela
- Seven of the 2010 World Cup winning Spanish squad will be playing in Russia
Bafana Bafana might not be playing at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, which starts in Russia on 14 June, but there will be a couple of South African connections representing Mzansi at the footballing showpiece.
While no South African will be playing in the tournament, we will be represented on the field of play by referee Zakhele Siwela.
Siwela is one of 99 match officials who will make on-field decisions. He has been selected as an assistant referee for the tournament.
Briefly.co.za gathered that one Premier Soccer League (PSL) player will take part in the World Cup. Nigerian Daniel Akpeyi has been included in his country’s World Cup squad. Akpeyi plays for Chippa United in the PSL.
Thesouthafrican.co.za reported that another link to South Africa is the FNB Stadium’s twin the Mordovia Stadium. The arena, which was specifically built for the 2018 World Cup has shamelessly copied the look of the FNB Stadium.
If imitation is the highest form of flattery, South Africa should be blushing with pride right now.
One more (ok admittedly very very tenuous) link is that seven of Spain’s 2010 World Cup winning squad will be playing in Russia. South Africans will always remember that a dominant Spanish side won ‘our’ World Cup.
Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Pedro, David Silva and Pepe Reina were all in Johannesburg on that cold wintery night when Spain lifted the first FIFA World Cup to be held on the African continent.
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