EASTERN Province rugby boss Cheeky Watson has urged all sports lovers to support the Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament when the first games in Port Elizabeth are played on Sunday.
"It is vitally important that everyone gets behind Afcon and goes to the stadium to support the teams playing in Port Elizabeth," the EP Rugby Union president said.
"We saw the lack of support for the Proteas when they were destroying New Zealand in Port Elizabeth. They should have had more support.
"We were also disappointed with the lack of support at the World Series Sevens rugby tournament last month. It is vitally important that fans come out to support the soccer."
Afcon kicks off in Port Elizabeth on Sunday when Ghana play DR Congo at 5pm and Niger play Mali at 8pm in a double header at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
"This is a wonderful city for sporting events and they must be supported. Every bum on a seat means more money in the coffers of sporting organisations," Watson said.
EP's rugby president, who will be attending matches, said a circular had been sent to all rugby clubs informing them of the Afcon games to be played in the city.
Asked to pick a tournament winner Watson said: "I don't know about that and who to put my money on. I am not so knowledgeable as far as soccer is concerned."
PE's Afcon fixtures are:
January 20: Ghana v DR Congo 5pm, Mali v Niger 8pm
January 24: Ghana v Mali 5pm, Niger v DR Congo 8pm
January 27: Cape Verde Islands v Angola
January 28: Niger v Ghana
February 2: winners Group B v runners-up Group A
February 9: Playoff for third place 8pm