Bafana change venue and time
Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana will play their crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations Group G qualifier against Egypt at Ellis Park Stadium instead of FNB Stadium on March 26.
The change of venue was confirmed by the South African Football Association (SAFA) on Tuesday following concerns about the state of the pitch at the 94 600 seating Nasrec venue.
This was a result of a musical concert held three weeks ago by rock band, U2 where the grass on the pitch was removed to fit a performance stage and some extra seating.
After the concert the grass had to be relayed at a cost estimated to be in the region of R1.6m in order to accommodate the sold out Premiership fixture between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates., because of the state of the pitch the match officials were forced to stop the game twice for the ground staff to compress the grass debris.
The match will now kick-off at 20:05 instead of the advertised 15:00 start.
Despite the changes, SAFA's acting chief executive Pinky Lehoko was still confident that Bafana would get a strong turn out for a match that could see South Africa with one foot in the continental tournament set for Equatorial Guinea and Gabon should they beat the Pharoahs.
The 60 000 seater Ellis Park has rarely been used for a soccer match after the conclusion of the 2010 World Cup.
"We are inundated with enquiries about the match, judging by the high level interest, we are doing everything to ensure that we give spectators a wonderful football experience," said Lehoko.
"We have involved a number of our stakeholders in our quest to deliver a great event at the stadium. In the next 48 hours we will unveil a comprehensive plan around the match."