Johannesburg – Nothing is being left to chance for the 2014 African Championships of Nations (Chan) tournament, Local Organising Committee (LOC) chief executive Mvuzo Mbebe said on Thursday.
“With the dedication and enthusiasm displayed by the LOC team and the support of our government, we want to promise the world that Chan 2014 will indeed be a celebration of Africa's home champions,” Mbebe said as South Africa marked 100 days to the start of the tournament in January.
South Africa successfully hosted the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament earlier this year.
Mbebe, who held the same position for that event, called on the country to get behind the LOC with the same support seen before Afcon 2013.
“We have now laid all foundations and we are now urging all Africans to rally behind this tournament as they brilliantly did with Afcon,” Mbebe said.
“We will soon be announcing our ticketing programmes and rolling out our marketing plan which we have spent some time thoroughly developing, to ensure that the country is abuzz with excitement come January next year.”
The Chan tournament, established in 2007 and first contested in 2009, is administered by the Confederation of African Football (Caf) and is played between the 16 best national teams in Africa.
National teams have to qualify for the event and may only feature players active in their local leagues.
Players who play abroad, regardless of where, even in Africa, do not qualify to take part in the competition.
LOC chairman Mwelo Nonkonyana was full of praise for the impressive work leading up to the 100-day mark.
“With all this work that has already been done, we can undoubtedly say that come January next year, Africans and the rest of the world will once again agree that South Africa is the prime destination for hosting mega events,” he said.
“I can confidently assure the world that Chan 2014 will be an eye-gripping event that will never be forgotten in the history of South African football.”
The tournament gets underway on January 11, with Cape Town, Mangaung, and Polokwane hosting the event.
South Africa were drawn to face Mozambique in the opening match of the tournament, with Nigeria and Mali completing a tough group A. – Sapa