South Africa soccer fans were excited to enjoy the beautiful game live from Soccer City in Johannesburg on Tuesday after 18 months of lockdown brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
A limit of 2000 free tickets were made available for vaccinated fans to watch their favourite team in a FIFA World Cup qualifier between the 'Bafana Bafana' and Ethiopia.
Joy Chauke encouraged fans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order for more people to enjoy soccer at stadiums across the country, in the lead up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
However, not everyone who showed up for the game was able to watch their favourite team in action. A majority of Ethiopia soccer fans were turned away as they had failed to register for the free online tickets.
South Africa won the match 1-0 after Getaneh Kebede's 11th minute own goal. a win that solidifies their top position in Group G. Ghana remains second place after the black stars win over last place Zimbabwe over the weekend.
"It was difficult for me to watch the games on the TV because I normally prefer to go to the stadium because there is a big difference when you watch the game on TV and you watch the game in the stadium. So I am happy to be here. It is the beginning of fun now- Sithembele Nkwali, a South Africa fan said.
For another fan Joy Chauke, this is about vaccination. "I am fully vaccinated (against COVID-19). That is why you are seeing me today here. I have my own tickets, so I am here to support (South Africa). Please go and vaccinate. Let's vaccinate for us to be in the stadium, 100 per cent. Please, we want to be normal. So, for us to be normal, we have to vaccinate. Nothing else. Just vaccinate. Let us all vaccinate."
At least 2000 fans were allowed to watch the bafana bafana match against Ethiopia on Tuesday according to the South Africa Football Association SAFA.