Madagascar has withdrawn from Saturday’s friendly with Bafana Bafana, according to the South African Football Association (SAFA).
SAFA made the announcement in a tweet posted on Thursday afternoon.
SAFA regrets to inform the public that the match between Bafana Bafana and Madagascar scheduled for this coming Saturday (7 September) has been called off after the visitors (Madagascar) decided to withdraw from the encounter.SAFA
The national soccer governing body did not immediately provide a reason for Madagascar’s withdrawal.
Just an hour before the announcement, Bafana Bafana were in training at the Orlando Stadium in Soweto.
Earlier on Thursday, SAFA announced free entry to the friendly “due to late notice of game preps.”
The sudden nature of Madagascar’s withdrawal has therefore seemingly caught SAFA by surprise.
Madagascar was Zambia’s replacement
Madagascar agreed to play Bafana Bafana following Zambia’s withdrawal earlier this week.
In a statement, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) cited the “prevailing security concerns in South Africa” as the reason.
The match had been scheduled for Saturday as well. Interestingly, it was to be played in Zambia’s capital Lusaka, not South Africa.
Many have interpreted the withdrawal as a sign of Zambia’s displeasure at the targeting of foreign-owned shops across Gauteng this week.