The FA and England players alike today paid tribute to the excellent support sho
The FA and England players alike today paid tribute to the excellent support shown from the legion of English fans in South Africa last Thursday.
Nearly 2,000 supporters travelled to Durban with the official England supporters club, englandfans, where they watched Sven's men beat South Africa by two goals to one in a friendly match to commemorate the launch of South Africa's bid to host the 2010 World Cup.
After numerous recent appeals for England fans to conduct themselves properly and show respect to their opponents at England matches, the supporters responded in Durban in the best way possible. The fans helped create a wonderful atmosphere inside and outside the stadium and impressed their hosts by greeting the South African National Anthem with respectful silence throughout and warm applause at the end. South African fans had earlier shown the same respect for our own National Anthem.
The FA's Director of Marketing and Communications, Paul Barber, praised the fans and hoped that this behaviour will continue now on for all England matches: "The 2,000 or so members of englandfans who travelled to Durban can be extremely proud of their contribution to the game as they helped restore some of the respect and pride that has been tarnished after recent events at Sunderland. We really hope that such respect and goodwill to our opponents will continue starting with our matches against Serbia and Montenegro at Leicester and, of course, the all-important Euro Qualifier against Slovakia at Middlesbrough"
He added: "Both The FA and England players would like to say a public thank you to the fans who travelled to South Africa - at great personal expense - for their exemplary behaviour and for their passionate support of our national team."
South Africa v England: Match Centre
England v Serbia and Montenegro: Match Centre
England v Slovakia: Match Centre