‘Time for new breed of SA soccer legends’

Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula says Bafana Bafana has great players who will do the country proud.

Bafana players stretch at a training session at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto on Friday, 11 January 2013. Picture: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Sport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Friday said it was time South Africa crowned a new breed of soccer legends.

The minister rallied behind Bafana Bafana as the national squad prepares to take on Cape Verde in the opening match for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Saturday.

Looking back at the stars of the 1996 Afcon tournament, Mbalula praised legends like Linda Buthelezi, Mark Fish and Doctor Khumalo, who led the national squad to victory.

The minister said he wanted future players to be able to emulate today's heroes with pride.

"There is Siphiwe Tshabalala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Kagisho Dikgacoi. These boys have a task and duty to the country."

The soccer spectacle officially kicks off at 6pm on Saturday at the National Stadium in Soweto.