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Cape Town – South Africa have moved next month's Rugby Championship clash against Argentina from Bloemfontein to Johannesburg as part of a unique double-header that will also see the national soccer team play at the same venue.
The August 17 matches will take place at the 94,700-seater FNB Staium and are part of an initiative spearheaded by the South African government to honour former president Nelson Mandela, who remains critically ill in hospital.
The South Africa soccer team will take on Burkina Faso, losers at the same venue in the Africa Cup of Nations final in February, in a friendly at 1.30pm with the rugby match to follow at 5pm, two hours earlier than originally scheduled.
“I cannot think of a better way for us as sports people to honour the legacy of Nelson Mandela than putting two of South Africa's most popular sports, with contrasting cultural heritages, on to the same field on the same day,” South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins said in a statement on Thursday.
Sanzar, who control the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship event which also involves New Zealand and Australia, have given their backing to the initiative.
“Sanzar is supportive of the forthcoming Nelson Mandela Sports Day and believe it will prove a momentous occasion for the Republic of South Africa,” chief executive Greg Peters said. – Reuters