Mandela Challenge: who will SA face?

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The South African Football Association will decide this week on Bafana Bafana's opponents for the 2008 Mandela Challenge.

Raymond Hack, Safa's chief executive, announced yesterday that they were awaiting a response from Cameroon and Ivory Coast.

The yearly tournament, which is held in honour of former president Nelson Mandela, will take place on November 19 at Loftus Stadium.

"I have written another letter to the federation in Cameroon asking them to indicate whether they will make it or not," said Hack.

"We are targeting either Cameroon or Ivory Coast to play against Bafana Bafana in this year's tournament, we will be able to make an announcement soon.

"November 19th is the only available Fifa date for us, the one in September [6] will be used for the Bafana Bafana qualifying match against Nigeria."

Hack also announced that Bafana Bafana will play Norway in an international friendly in Phokeng on March 28 next year.

Sowetan has it on good authority that Royal Bafokeng Holdings was highly involved in organising the game as part of the celebrations of the reopening of the local stadium .

Royal Bafokeng Stadium is being renovated ahead of the 2009 Confederations Cup. It will also be used for the 2010 World Cup.

Bafokeng are also the sponsors of the Mandela Challenge.

Before the Nigeria game, Bafana play the Socceroos of Australia on August 19 in London.

l The Bafana Bafana-Nigeria qualifier looks set to be played at Port Elizabeth Stadium. Safa will make an announcement in the next two weeks.

A delegation, led by Bafana Bafana manager Sipho Nkumane, was in the Friendly City last week to inspect the facility.

Nkumane could not be reached for comment.