Nelson Mandela Bay municipality mayor Zanoxolo Wayile said the city of Port Elizabeth was more than ready to host its eight matches for the 2013 Orange Africa Cup of Nations in January.
Wayile was speaking in Port Elizabeth on Friday during the countdown of 50 days to one of Africa’s soccer great showpieces.
“Our sense of anticipation and urgency has been heightened by the fact that the pride of African football nations will descend on us on January 19,” Wayile said.
“The reality has dawned on us that the greatest African soccer spectacle is just 50 days away from arriving on the shores of the Nelson Mandela Bay.
“Thus, we regard the Orange Afcon 2013 a crucial portal for exposure and an opportunity to raise our public relations bar a notch or two higher.
“It is indeed an opportunity for all of us to increase awareness of the magnitude of what South Africa and the Nelson Mandela Bay in particular have to offer the world, while at the same time instilling confidence in and building positive images of our city to the world at large,” Wayile said.
Local organising committee chairperson, Chief Mwelo Nonkonyana, urged Nelson Mandela Bay officials tasked to ensure the success of the tournament to continue galvanising support in the region and encourage all soccer loving people to come out in huge numbers and fill up the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
“I am hopeful that on January 20 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will be packed to capacity as we witness the first GroupB matches, when Ghana will be playing the Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by Mali against Niger,” Nokonyana said.
“All roads will lead to the stadium, not because of Bafana Bafana, but because it will be a gathering of the greatest football tournament on African soil and every football loving person will want to be there,” he said.
The provincial government has also thrown its support behind the tournament.
Delivering the adjustment budget of the province in Bhisho last week, finance and provincial planning MEC Phumulo Masualle said R3m would be utilised for an Afcon medical services grant.
Tickets are on sale and are available at selected Spar outlets, as well as via the portal www.eqtickets.com.
Tickets are also available from a telesales centre on 0879803000.
Article source: http://www.thenewage.co.za/72806-1016-53-Upbeat_about_Afcon