Bafana Bafana's friendly against Zambia set for Rustenburg

Royal Bafokeng Stadium has not hosted professional football in three years.
Royal Bafokeng Stadium has not hosted professional football in three years.
Image: Gallo Images

Bafana Bafana’s friendly against Zambia will be played at Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on Tuesday‚ October 13‚ the SA Football Association (Safa) has announced.

Coach Molefi Ntseki’s national team return to international football after an almost year-long absence due to Covid-19 with two friendlies during Fifa’s October 5 to 14 international window.

The first will be at Windhoek’s Independence Stadium against Namibia on Thursday‚ October 8‚ and the second against Zambia in the North West province’s under-utilised Royal Bafokeng venue five days later.

Both matches are apparently still subject to approval by the authorities and meeting health regulations in Namibia and South Africa.

“The Bafana Bafana versus Zambia friendly match has now been rescheduled for Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg on 13 October 2020 while the away match against Namibia on 8 October will be played at the Independence Stadium in Windhoek‚” Safa said in a statement on Wednesday.

“Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki will address the Safa NEC meeting this coming Saturday‚ 19 September 2020 at Safa House‚ where he will present his final programme.

“The two proposed friendly matches against Cosafa opponents are meant to fine-tune the Senior Men’s National team before the two back-to-back Cameroon 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sao Tome.”

Bafana meet Sao Tome and Principe at FNB Stadium on Friday‚ November 13 before the return game in the Atlantic island archipelago on November 16.

The matches were originally set for March 27 and 31‚ and Ntseki had announced his squad on March 12‚ but derailed by the Confederation of African Football’s (Caf)  suspension of all matches as the global coronavirus pandemic escalated.

South Africa (three points) are second in Group C in the qualifiers for Cameroon 2021 from the win against Sudan and a 2-0 away defeat to Ghana (six points). Sudan are in third place on three points‚ and Sao Tome bottom with zero.

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations was postponed in June by Caf from January and February 2021 to January and February 2022.

Safa’s statement said that The Qatar 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers begin in May 2021.

Bafana are in Group G with Zimbabwe‚ Ethiopia and Ghana.