Durban ready for AFCON

2012-11-20 10:02

Johannesburg - Durban, which will host Bafana Bafana, Angola, Cape Verde and Morocco, as well as a quarter- and semi-final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, was given the all-clear by the Local Organising Committee on Monday.

LOC CEO Mvuzo Mbebe also confirmed the South Africa national team will be based at the Elangeni Hotel in Durban's North Beach vicinity and will train at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi.

"We are more than happy with what Durban has to offer. Even the teams who will be based here were very happy when they visited. Our impression of the venue specific training and the hotel are in a state of readiness where they can host the tournament tomorrow," Mbebe told Football411.

The Moses Mabhida Stadium, which will showcase six games during the tournament, has come under scrutiny in the past over the pitch's drainage abilities. A PSL match between Amazulu and Ajax Cape Town was postponed in March this year after the pitch was deemed by match officials to be unplayable due to standing water from torrential rains.

Mbebe, though, has confirmed the stadium is currently undergoing a change of pitch for the tournament.

"We know that there was a problem with the pitch before, it used to cut up very badly. There will be a new pitch put in. It's called a 'Desso' grass pitch which is used widely in Europe. It has excellent drainage abilities," he said.

With just over sixty days until the sub-Saharan showpiece, only 40 000 tickets have been sold, but organisers are confident of a spike in sales in the coming weeks.

Mbebe added: "To date we have sold 40 000 tickets. There will be approximately 800,000 tickets available to the public and our target is to sell at least 500 000. We know the buying culture of South African football fans and we are expecting a rush for tickets in late December and early January."

"We have seen when Bafana played Ethiopia and Zambia at home the power of the away support. South Africans need to go out there and buy tickets as soon as possible," he concluded.