South Africans in Qatar become first SA Soccer Supporters Club in the Middle East

Keeping the flag flying high, South Africans in Qatar officially launches SAFA Supporters Club

SAFA and South Africans in Qatar community sign MOU for first ever Bafana and Banyana Supporters Club in the Middle East Johannesburg-Doha: 21 November 2020 The South African Football Association (SAFA) and the South Africans in Qatar (SAIQ) community group today officially launched and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the first Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana Supporters’ Club in the Middle East. The announcement made in Johannesburg and Doha today – exactly two years to the day before the kickoff of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar – was attended by SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan, Qatar Football Association General Secretary, Mr Mansoor Al Ansari, and South Africa’s Ambassador to Qatar, Mr Faizel Moosa. The launch of the Bafana and Banyana Supporters Club in Qatar is part of the bigger vision of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy’s (SC) Community Engagement Programme, where communities within Qatar are encouraged to be part of their country’s 2022 journey as they participate in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, via community fan groups. Some of the initiatives the South African community has hosted in Qatar include the establishment of a Boktown public viewing area for Springbok matches during the 2019 Rugby World Cup. It has also supported Brand South Africa and South African Tourism with marketing initiatives in the Middle East. “South Africa, Russia and Qatar faced particularly common advantages and challenges. For South Africa, it was hosting Africa’s first FIFA World Cup in over 100 years and confronting all the negative perceptions of the African continent, but leaving people with smiles on their faces after the tournament. Russia hosted the first FIFA World Cup in Eastern Europe and the same misconceptions and negativity prevailed, but people walked away from the World Cup with a changed perception and understanding of the Russian people.

Qatar too is hosting the first FIFA World Cup in the Middle East and we are confident people are going to walk away with a different perception of the Middle East, having experienced an extremely wonderful, warm, people-driven World Cup,” said Dr Danny Jordaan, as he joined the signing ceremony from Johannesburg today. “The establishment of the first Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana Supporters Club in the Middle East by the South African community in Qatar is a very positive development, which we welcome. We are doing all we can to ensure Bafana takes its place among the world’s football elite in Qatar in 2022. As the first African hosts of the FIFA World Cup, we are fully behind Qatar’s efforts to host the Middle East’s first FIFA World Cup. We have no doubt it will be an excellent, world-class event played in incredible, modern stadia in a beautiful football-loving country,” Dr Jordaan added.

“Official recognition for the Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana Supporters’ Club Qatar from the South African Football Association is symbolic of the strong football fan culture among residents in Qatar. There are many supporters’ groups in Qatar and they will all help to enhance the fan and cultural experience during the FIFA World Cup in 2022,” said Qatar Football Association General Secretary, Mr Mansoor Al Ansari.

South Africa’s Ambassador to Qatar, HE Faizel Moosa, said sport remains the bridge between nations and welcomed the forging of closer ties between the two countries.

“We encourage our South African expatriates to come forward in the true South African spirit of UBUNTU and be the true South African ambassadors that we are, and to ensure that 2022 is a memorable experience for all those who will be coming to Qatar for this remarkable experience,” said Ambassador Moosa.

Run by community representatives and enthusiasts of sport and football, Samantha Abrahams, Brad Habana, Xolani Holomisa and Bernard Lodge, the South Africans in Qatar Supporters Club is inclusive and welcoming and open to all South African expatriates living and working in Qatar. South Africans in Qatar supporters club Established in 2020, the supporters’ club is dedicated to supporting the SC’s Community Engagement Programme and the journey of Bafana Bafana (SAFA) as they compete for a place in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The club is open to all and is a safe and friendly environment for fans to get together and support football in Qatar.

As per the media statement by Jermaine Craig (Media liaison: South Africans in Qatar Supporters Club)

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