AFCON 2024 Semi Final: South African Chippa United Boss Declares His Support For Super Eagles & Nigerian Goalkeeper Nwabali (pics)

We are supporting the Super Eagles against South Africa – Mpengesi

Chippa United is one of 16 teams that make up the South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL)

In a lengthy statement posted on the social media platform, via the club’s official account, Mpengesi congratulated the Premier Soccer League for having the most players at AFCON and applauded Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos for selecting homegrown talent.

However, he then proclaimed that he and Chippa United stand behind Nwabali, who is the club’s first-choice goalkeeper, and the Super Eagles against South Africa due to the player’s rising profile. Nwabali plays for Chippa United and has impressed at the tournament for Nigeria:

I would like to start by extending my congratulations to the Premier Soccer League (PSL) for showcasing the highest number of domestic players at the 2023 AFCON tournament. Close to 30 players from South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, and even the host country, lvory Coast who play in the PSL league were part of the AFCON 2023 tournament all thanks to PSL League Chairman, Dr Irvin Khoza.

Acknowledgment is also given to Coach Hugo Broos, who boldly trusted our domestic players, unlike previous Bafana Bafana national team coaches who preferred to select players who played abroad as bench warmers instead, to represent our National Team.

My commendation also go out to Mamelodi Sundowns FC and their technical staff for their outstanding contribution, highlighted by the inclusion of 8 players in the Bafana Bafana starting lineup.

Furthermore, my heartfelt applause is due to the CAF President Dr. Patrice Motsepe for orchestrating what is arguably the finest AFCON tournament of the century, showcasing the continent’s football prowess and uniting us in the spirit of the game. It’s a moment of pride and reflection on our journey and growth in African football.

As the Chairman of Chippa United FC and as a proud South African, I find myself in a unique position during this 2023 AFCON tournament in that our very own Nigeria International, Stanley Nwabali has been a revelation; his performance for the Nigerian National Team has caught the eyes of the globe, earning him and our club international acclaim.

With Stanley’s rising profile and the International attention it brings to Chippa United FC, the benefits have been nothing but positive. Therefore, I and Chippa United FC stand behind our player Stanley Nwabali and the Nigerian Super Eagles tomorrow against South Africa Bafana Bafana. We wish the Super Eagles all the best.

Siviwe Chippa Mpengesi
Chairman, Chippa United FC

Mpengesi’s comments have drawn intense criticism on social media from South African fans, who felt the chairman should be supporting his own nation.

Many have viewed the statement as a betrayal to be wishing an opposing team well. Here are some of the reactions.

With Bafana Bafana aiming to reach the AFCON final, Mpengesi’s divisive remarks have cast a pall over preparations.