Sundowns vs Barcelona to be televised live on SABC

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2018.
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2018.
Image: AFP PHOTO / LLUIS GENE

Wednesday night’s Mandela Centenary Cup match between Mamelodi Sundowns and FC Barcelona will be beamed live on SABC 1‚ organizers of the event have said.

The match kicks off at 6.15pm and this means the SABC‚ which doesn’t have a 24 hour sports channel‚ will have to reshuffle some of its regular programming to accommodate the match.

Sizwe Nzimande‚ speaking on behalf of the Motsepe Foundation‚ confirmed that the match would shown live while FC Barcelona urged their fans to watch the game by streaming it live on the club’s official media channels.

Barca have promised to bring all their stars‚ including Lionel Messi‚ Louis Suarez‚ Gerald Pique and the outgoing captain Andres Iniesta.

The Spanish powerhouses have played 21 games on African soil over the years and this will be their second visit to South Africa.

The last time they were in the country was 2007 when they faced the selfsame Sundowns in a friendly match. The Catalans won that game 2-1 with goals from Santi Ezquerro and Marc Crosas while Surprise Moriri opened the scoring for the Pretoria side.

Nzimande encouraged the fans to arrive early at the stadium in order to avoid congestion before the kick-off.

Full capacity close to 90 000 is expected on Wednesday.

“We have been involved in a series of meetings with Stadium Management‚ planning for the safety of the fans before‚ during and after the game. So far everything is going according to plan‚" he said.

“We have invested a little bit more on security to unsure there is a high level of safety.

"We starting with the security component far from the perimeters of the stadium to unsure that fans are directed to all the gates we have in the stadium.”

Spanish league champions arrived to loud cheers at the OR Tambo International airport on Wednesday morning, May 16 2018, ahead of their friendly face off with Premier Soccer League champions Mamelodi Sundowns at FNB stadium.

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