Madagascar has declined the invitation by South Africa to a friendly football match citing security of the delegation of Madagascar and Malagasy nationals in South Africa. In a press statement, the Malagasy Football Federation (FMF) apologised to South Africa who had already started preparing for the match. The press statement reads as follows:
The Malagasy Football Federation (FMF) has been approached by the South African Football Federation (SAFA) to organize a friendly match between the national team of Madagascar and that of South Africa.
Honoured by this consideration, and finding the interesting opportunity to prepare the Malagasy national team for the different deadlines that await them, the FMF initially gave its agreement in principle for the organisation of the meeting.
However, after having agreed with Malagasy national institutions in particular regarding the security of the delegation of Madagascar and Malagasy nationals in South Africa, it was found necessary and judicious to decline the invitation.
The Malagasy national team will continue its reunion in Madagascar and will see its elements return to their respective clubs after the FIFA date.
Finally, the FMF apologises to SAFA for the efforts they have begun to organise the meeting, and also supporters of Malagasy football who looked forward to the match.
South Africa engaged Madagascar after Zambia had cancelled their friendly match over the violent attacks targeted at foreign nationals in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe plays South Africa on Friday at Orlando Stadium.