Hours after the South African Football Association (SAFA) announced free entry for fans to watch a scheduled friendly match of Bafana Bafana with Madagascar; the match has to be cancelled.
The Madagascar team pulled out of the match over the xenophobic attack by South Africans on other Africans.
Madagascar was a last minute replacement for Zambia, which earlier pulled out for the same reason.
SAFA had to put up a message on the cancellation on its official twitter account.
It reads: “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.”
The Malagasy Football Federation has been approached by the South African Football Federation (SAFA) to organise a friendly match between the national team of Madagascar and that of South Africa.
Honoured by the consideration and finding it a good opportunity to prepare the Malagasy team for its upcoming challenges, the FMF initially agreed in principle to organise the fixture.
However, after consulting several different national institutions, especially taking into account the security of the Madagascar delegation and Madagascan foreign nationals living in South Africa, it became mandatory to decline the invitation.
The Malagasy national team will continue its training camp in Madagascar and its players will rejoin their clubs after the international break.
Should the action continues also in other sporting events, it will be the first time the Rainbow nation will be facing sporting isolation since the apartheid regime of white supremacy regime was banished in 1990 following the release of Nelson Mandela from prison after 27 years.