SC and QFA help to launch first South African supporters’ club in the region
With under two years to go before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ kicks off, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and the Qatar Football Association (QFA) recently partnered with South Africans in Qatar (SAIQ) to help launch a supporters’ group for the Rainbow Nation’s national football teams.
The establishment of the region’s first Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana Supporters’ Club was formalised through a Memorandum of Understanding between SAIQ and the South African Football Association (SAFA). The initiative forms part of the vision of the SC’s Community Engagement programme – to encourage communities within Qatar to be part of their home country’s journey during Qatar 2022.
“Supporters’ groups like this one provide an opportunity for fans around the world to connect with people in Qatar,” said the SC’s Communications Executive Director, Fatma Al Nuaimi. “It’s vital we mobilise our many local communities to contribute to the atmosphere and spirit of celebration that will ensure lasting memories for everyone who visits Qatar in 2022.”
Run by community representatives and football enthusiasts – Samantha Abrahams, Brad Habana, Xolani Holomisa and Bernard Lodge – the new South African supporters’ group is inclusive and welcoming and open to all South African expatriates living and working in Qatar and the Middle East.
“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,” said SAFA President, Dr Danny Jordaan. “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 stadiums in a beautiful football-loving country.”
QFA General Secretary, Mansoor Al Ansari, 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.”
The SC’s Community Engagement programme provides a channel for people in Qatar to learn about the opportunities and benefits that come from the country’s hosting of the World Cup. It connects local people to the social, economic and physical regeneration taking place as a result of Qatar 2022 and enables the community to contribute to the delivery – and ultimate success – of the tournament.
Community Engagement delivers its objectives through a range of initiatives, including the Youth Panel, Accessibility Forum, Community Partnerships, Volunteer Progamme, Tamreen, Cultural Experience Programme, a lecture series and various football tournaments.