Man City to play SA giants
Johannesburg - Bigspending English Premiership club Manchester City will visit South Africa during July to play local giants Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
A statement said City will play Pirates (July 18), Chiefs (July 21) and the winners of a play-off between the Johannesburg clubs in the July 25 final of the Vodacom Challenge.
City are following in the footsteps of fellow Premiership clubs Manchester United, who hammered Chiefs 4-0 in the last final, and 2007 tournament winners Tottenham Hotspur.
Manager Mark Hughes attended a launch ceremony on Monday and said he expected City drawcard and Brazil star Robinho to be in the squad for a second visit by the club to South Africa.
"The Challenge is an important part of my pre-season training and at this stage I will be bringing all my top players," vowed Hughes, who toured South Africa as a Manchester United striker 16 years ago.
Bankrolled by Middle East petro dollars, City have been linked with a number of international superstars, including Barcelona and Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o.
The club that has lived in the lengthy shadow of neighbours United for many seasons defeated Santos 1-0 in Cape Town and drew 1-1 with Manning Rangers in Durban during a 1993 tour.
Coastal city Port Elizabeth will host the Chiefs-Pirates fixture and the venues for the City games will be announced later this week with Cape Town, Durban and Pretoria favoured.