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EXTRA TIME: Mbalula's statement against xenophobia to unite African football

5:47 PM GMT+8 25/02/2017
Mr Fikile Mbalula, South African Minister of Sport and Recreation
During widespread campaigns against xenophobia in South Africa, the Minister of Sport and Recreation's statement is about uniting through football


FootballAgainstXenophobia The community of African Football is today joining hands with the rest of the world in condemning the various acts of Xenophobia in South Africa and the rest of the continent. Under the banner of the Football Africa Arena, a WhatsApp Group comprising of leading voices in the Football Industry, the hashtag #FootballAgainstXenophobia seeks to highlight the positive role Football can play, to overcome Xenophobia and other forms of discrimination in the African continent. The multi-national and multi-racial nature of football has seen the Sport challenge the very basis of discrimination because Football is a game for all, which thrives on human instinct. There is so much fighting and killing in the name of peace that it is difficult to talk of peace. But if people maintain contact, they do not fight. And football helps people to do just that. The players on the field are in contact with each other and the fans in the stands interact with each other. Football is indeed a tool for peaceful resolution. Recalling the euphoria of the successful transition to non-racial democracy, and successful hosting of the FIFA WorldCup 2010, South Africa has and will always remain a beacon of hope and a model for socio-economic stability in the African continent. It is imperative that the country projects an image which the rest of the continent is proud to identify with. Ubuntu. Football mirrors aspects of society and serves as a powerful agent of social change. We hereby welcome all stakeholders including footballers, administrators and fans to join us in our hashtag #FootballAgainstXenophobia and be part of influencing positive change, and encourage peaceful coexistence between communities and nationalities through Football. Football Africa Arena.

A post shared by FikileMbalula (@fikilembalula) on Feb 25, 2017 at 12:07am PST