D-Day has arrived for the South African national football team. Bafana Bafana will take on France at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein at 16:00 today. Both teams have had a bumpy journey in the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Bafana Bafana played in the opening match of the tournament and drew 1-1 with Mexico, but lost by 3 goals to 0 against Uruguay in their 2nd group match. France played to a goal-less draw in their match against Uruguay and lost against Mexico in their second group match in Polokwane.
France is currently ranked 9th in the world on the FIFA rankings but have not had the best of World Cup tournaments. Their striker, Anelka (who plays his club football for the English club Chelsea) was sent home after insulting his coach at half time in their game against Mexico. The French World Cup team refused to train after Anelka’s dismissal. The French minister of Sport prolonged her stay in South Africa (under instruction from the French president) and had a talk with the French team yesterday. She resolved the matter and they went back into training. France won the FIFA World Cup in 1998 (a tournament which was hosted by them) and is playing in their 14th FIFA World Cup.
South Africa is currently ranked 83rd on the FIFA rankings. Since the 2010 FIFA World Cup the whole of South Africa has been behind Bafana Bafana. They managed to draw their first match in the tournament against a team that is ranked 17th in the world. They beat Denmark in a warmup game before the 2010 FIFA World Cup. A Sangoma in Khayelitsha (in the Western Cape) has predicted that Bafana Bafana will win against Les Blues (as the French are known in France). Can South Africa pull of a victory against France and make it into the 2nd round of the 2010 FIFA World or will they become the first host country in the history of the tournament to be knocked out in the first round?
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