JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South African President Jacob Zuma has told the country's struggling national football team to relax and ignore criticism ahead of its hosting of the African Cup of Nations.
Zuma visited players and coach Gordon Igesund at training on Tuesday and said "we are satisfied that the team is well prepared for the tournament ... they must relax and not be tense and not listen to the critics."
Zuma then said there were "too many critics in this country and I was telling the team that others who are critic have never touched the ball."
South Africa's reshaped team has struggled recently, winning only three of eight matches under Igesund before opening the African Cup against Cape Verde on Saturday.
Igesund says Zuma's visit was "important for the players."