Bafana to play Brazil in March

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South Africa will host Brazil in a friendly international match on March 5 at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg. Photo by: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

Johannesburg – South Africa will host Brazil in a friendly international match on March 5 at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, the SA Football Association (Safa) announced on Thursday.

"In my opinion, Brazil is one of the greatest teams of all time," Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said.

"For a team, players and coaches to play against the best teams in the world is something that doesn't usually happen." In October, Brazilian officials announced the fixture would take place and it appeared on Fifa's international calendar for the new year.

Safa confirmed the fixture a month after Bafana shocked World and European champions Spain with a 1-0 victory in a friendly in Johannesburg on November 19.

It would be the fifth time the two sides would meet since 1996 with Brazil winning the four previous encounters -- 3-2 in Soweto, 2-1 and 1-0 in Johannesburg, and 1-0 in Sao Paulo last September.

Their last encounter, played in Brazil's largest city, marked Igesund's first game in charge of the national team.

Meanwhile, Brazilian ambassador to South Africa Pedro Mendonca dismissed any fears that the South American nation would be unable to host the 2014 Fifa World Cup, following doubts about the organisers meeting deadlines before the kick-off in June next year.

"Everything changes by the time the tournament starts. Brazilians are absolutely passionate about football," Mendonca said.

"As in South Africa, I'm sure it's going to be a very lively and a great world cup.

"You must also remember that it's the second world cup in Brazil.

"I'm sure the whole population is going to be united and it will be a very successful tournament."

Brazil had previously hosted the World Cup in 1950, when Uruguay lifted the trophy. – Sapa


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