18 February 2019 — South Africa’s Head of Missions in Niger, Mr Phoka Motsilili, made time out of his busy schedule to come and congratulate South Africa’s National Under-20 (Amajita) side for qualifying for this year’s upcoming FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
Amajita finished third in this year’s U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, and thus earning their first ever bronze medal in their history of competing in this tournament.
This eight-nation continental tournament also doubled up as a FIFA Under-20 World Cup qualification process, where only top four national teams would earn their place in upcoming 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup Poland edition.
The 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup tournament will run from 23 May – 15 June.
Motsilili said he was most pleased that the national juniors managed to qualify for their second FIFA Under-20 World Cup in a row, after having done so back in 2017 for the South Korea edition.
“We, as the Mission here in Niger, are very happy with how the boys conducted themselves during their stay here in Niamey,” Motsilili said. “They have fought really hard to get the needed result to qualify for this year’s FIFA Under-20 World, and we are extremely proud of them.
Motsilili also applauded the South African Football Association (SAFA) for the good work it has been doing with their national teams in all levels.
The Head of Missions in Niamey also made mention of the fact that it is only through exceptional leadership, that a federation can have a majority of their national teams qualifying for major footballing events such as the FIFA World Cup tournaments.
“Not so long ago, our National Under-17 girls (Bantwana) went to Uruguay to represent us in the 2018 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup,” Motsilili said. “Banyana Banyana qualified for their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament set to take place in France later in the year and just recently, Amajita qualified for the second consecutive FIFA Under-20 World Cup tournament in a row. That is just incredible” said Motsilili
“This can only mean that there is brilliant leadership taking place within the Association, and we want to applaud them for that”