Johannesburg - Bafana Bafana will play their return leg 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier
against Central African Republic (CAR) in the Cameroon capital of Yaounde, the
SA Football Association (SAFA) said in a statement on Monday.
SAFA requested FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) move the
match, scheduled for June 9, to a neutral venue because of political unrest in
"I am happy the venue issue has finally been settled," said Bafana
coach Gordon Igesund.
"I must commend SAFA, FIFA and CAF for making this happen because we
lost our loved ones there not so long ago and the environment is still too
tense to have a match in that country. It would definitely not have been the
right atmosphere to play there."
Thirteen South African soldiers died in skirmishes with the rebels in the
CAR capital Bangui two months ago.
The number of casualties rose to 14 after one of the wounded soldiers died
late last month.
"It would be silly of me to say that now we are playing at a neutral
venue, it will favour us. It will still be a very tough match, but the
advantage is, it will be away from the intimidation of the home crowd,"
"We will definitely be having our own supporters in the stands; which
is a plus for us. We played well against them in the home leg but they showed
they are a formidable side, so we need to be on guard and not take things
"We should get all three points here and keep the pressure on Ethiopia
who are two points ahead of us in the group. We cannot afford to lose this
A week after the clash with the CAR, South Africa face Ethiopia in Addis
Ababa on June 16.
"We are going to need warriors going into those two matches and we have
to be mentally strong," Igesund said.
"I believe I have those players so I am not worried. In fact, things
are looking good for us.
"We have been inspired by the heroics of Orlando Pirates in Lubumbashi
(DRC) on Sunday. They showed a lot of character when the odds were heavily
stacked against them. We should take a leaf off their book."
South Africa host Botswana in the last match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup
group stages, in September at a venue still to be determined.