LONDON - English Premiership side Manchester City are set to go on a tour of South Africa in July.
Though a trip to the Far East could prove more lucrative, "The Citizens" have decided to go south to play against Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in the Vodacom Challenge.
While South Africa has played host to Manchester United in the past, City are ready to take advantage of the opportunity.
Football interest is steadily growing in South Africa, with only one year to go before the country stages the 2010 World Cup.
Sources suggest that City will receive £2million (about R25,7million) for the South African visit, but could have have received more from the Far East.
But City plan to make the most of their hefty South African fan base, with more than 10 million supporters believed to be present in the region.
City will exploit their revamped brand on the tour.
South Africa further presents favourable weather conditions during the summer season, without any time zone conflicts experienced in the past by clubs visiting the Far East and North America.
The announcement, though yet to be made official, allays doubts as to whether the yearly Vodacom Challenge pre-season tournament would be played this year due to the staging of the eight-nation Confederations Cup.
City are unlikely to feature Brazilian stars Robinho and Elano in South Africa as they will probably play in the Confederations Cup. - Thapelo Moloantoa