The South African Football Association (SAFA) will play two international friendly matches against neighbouring countries in a bid to sensitize the public on the evils of xenophobia which has badly dented the image of the country in recent days, media sources in South Africa informs.
“We want to use the two high-profile international friendly matches as an instrument to unite this continent.
“What has been happening in the past few days has really left most people in shock and dismayed,” said SAFA CEO Dennis Mumble.
“We have decided to take this step (of playing two high-profile international friendly matches) as part of the fight against xenophobia.
“Madiba spoke of the power of sport in uniting people from different walks of life and we want to use the power of football to unite this continent and kick out this scourge in our society,” added Mumble.
Details of the two international friendly matches will be announced by SAFA in a few days’ time, the reports added.
South Africa has in recent days witnessed a spate of some of the most violent xenophobic attacks against foreigners including Nigerians and Mumble said the violence perpetrated on foreign nationals has badly dented the image of the country in the eyes of the international community.
“Most sporting personalities have had their say in denouncing these barbaric acts but we want to go a step further by playing friendly matches against neighbouring countries. We want to send out a message to those perpetrating these acts to sit back and realise what they are doing is wrong.
“We are one continent, one Africa, we are all Africans and we say no to xenophobia.”
South Africa recently held Nigeria to a 0-0 draw in an international friendly in Nelspruit on March 29, 2015.