Safa pile the work on Igesund

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Igesund_appointed3 Gallo Images Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has to take his side to the semi-finals of Afcon 2013 and qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

South African Football Association CEO Robin Petersen has confirmed that the national men’s team are expected to play eight friendly internationals as new coach Gordon Igesund prepares them for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations on home soil.

Bafana will play Brazil in Sao Paolo on September 7 before a home friendly on September 11.

“We had another offer from outside the country, but after discussions with the coach we decided to play one back here, probably against a neighbouring country,” said Petersen.

South Africa will then travel to play Uefa Euro championship co-hosts Poland on October 12, with another fixture set for October 16.

This is expected to be in the United Arab Emirates, although Petersen said: “There will be an announcement very shortly; we are signing the final contract. It is away, the UAE is not confirmed, but it is a Middle Eastern country.”

Bafana will then play Zambia in the Nelson Mandela Challenge on November 14, before three home matches will be played during their Nations Cup training camp, on December 23, January 6 and January 12.

Meanwhile, Bafana Bafana and Castle Lager yesterday also confirmed that they had renewed their partnership until 2017 in a five-year sponsorship deal worth a total of at least R100-million.

“The fixed amount is R100-million over five years, but it’s flexible. The better we do, the more we earn, with additional bonuses built in,” said Petersen.

“There have been questions because the previous amount was significantly higher,” added Petersen.

“But you have to put this into context. In this contract we have switched from two partners for Bafana to five, and together with the host cities (of Afcon 2013) this will spread the load for sponsors and mitigate risk.

“We are all agreed this is a good strategy to go forward.”

“I don’t think there was ever any doubt that we would renew (with Castle) after a lot of negotiating.

“We had explained to them that we wanted five different partners for the whole association and they had said that was fine.”

Peterson was speaking at a function to celebrate 20 years of Castle sponsoring Bafana Bafana, from the first international since re-admission, a 1-0 victory over Cameroon on July 7, 1992. – The Star

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