Bafana Bafana

Bafana to host Ivory Coast

2011-10-27 11:49

Johannesburg - South Africa will take on the Ivory Coast in the 17th edition of the Nelson Mandela Challenge that will be staged at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on November 12, kickoff is at 15:15.

This is the second time the match will be played in the province of birth of the world statesman - under whose name this annual event is played – the last time Bafana Bafana visited province in this clash they lost 3-2 to Senegal on the 12th of November in 2005.

The 17th edition is held in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro.

The Challenge was first played in 1994 and has been ever-present on the calendar except t in 2001 when it had to be cancelled after Mexico withdrew at the last minute.

South Africa have won it seven times, and lost on seven occasions, with two matches ending in a draw. Bafana Bafana’s last win came in 2009 when they defeated Norway in Rustenburg – a year earlier they had beaten Cameroon to lift the trophy. In the 2010 edition South Africa lost one nil to the United States of America at a packed Cape Town Stadium.

This will also be the first time that Ivory Coast have been invited to play in this annual football spectacle. The West Africans come to the match ranked as the number one country on the continent and 19th in the world on the Fifa Rankings.

Bafana Bafana are ranked eighth and 49th respectively.

“We are really delighted to have managed to secure an opponent of the calibre of the Ivory Coast. They are number one on the continent, which is a clear indication that it will not be an easy day in the office. We are also honoured to be playing this match near the home of Nelson Mandela. As an Association we believe this is a fitting tribute for all he has done for sport in general in this country,” said Safa CEO Dr Robin Petersen.

The Challenge is played annually to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and the South African Football Association (Safa) will donate a cheque of one-million-rand to the Fund.

“The honour of having the number one team in Africa, Ivory Coast, playing against our national soccer team for the 17th edition of Nelson Mandela Challenge in Port Elizabeth fits hand-in-glove with our 2010-2015 corporate strategy to extend the footprint of our models of child care in the continent. With international household names like Didier Drogba touching our shores, our young ones have no better source of inspiration, other than from these players, to draw for the dreams that they have of being the stars of tomorrow,” said Moipone Buda-Ramatlo, Acting CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

“This sets the stage for Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the South African Football Association to reposition the Nelson Mandela Challenge within the continental integration strategy as championed by our national government,” added Buda-Ramatlo.

On Thursday, 3 November 2011, Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane will announce his squad to play the Ivory Coast.

Ivory Coast has named a very strong 21-squad man that includes their captain, Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, his club mate Salomon Kalou, the Manchester City pair of Yaya and Kolo Toure, Gervinho of Arsenal, Emmanuel Eboue of Galatasaray in Turkey and Siaka Tiene of Paris Saint Germaine in France.

The delegation, which includes the Ivory Coast FA President Sidy Augustin Diallo, and two vice presidents, is expected to arrive in South Africa on on Thursday, 10 November 2011.

Match tickets are on sale at Computicket outlets, Shoprite and Shoprite/Checkers store countrywide at a cost of R100 00 for the West Lower stand and R50 00 for all other areas.

Tickets will not be on sale at the stadium on match day and supporters are urged to purchase their tickets well in advance.

Read more on:    safa  |  johannesburg

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