Updated: Thu, 10 Jan 2013 10:06:04 GMT | By Sapa

Mbalula Insists: South Africa Is Ready

South Africa is set and raring to go for the start of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament, Sports and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula insisted.

Fikile Mbalula

Gallo Images

"We are ready. We are a footballing nation, all systems go. If the games were to start tomorrow, we are ready for that," Mbalula said in Johannesburg at an event to mark 10 days to the start of the Afcon tournament, hosted by South Africa.

Bafana start their campaign against Cape Verde at the National Stadium (the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg), before taking on Morocco and Angola in Group A.

Mbalula encouraged supporters to turn out in numbers throughout the tournament, and wished the national side well for their campaign.

"People must get their tickets," Mbalula said.

"Already some of the tickets are sold out. The excitement is very important. People need to get to their different places, the tickets are selling like hotcakes."

Although South Africa suffered a setback by going down 1-0 to Norway in Cape Town in an international friendly on Tuesday, Mbalula said the team looked in good shape heading into the continental showpiece.

"The team is looking good, they have the backing of the whole of South Africa. Although they lost to Norway, we need to score goals. We can't hold back, we need to go out and win for the whole country."

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