Gordon Igesund chats with players during the South African national soccer team training session at Clyde Pinelands Sports Club on January 09, 2014 in Cape Town. Photo by: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images

Capetonians will be the driving force behind Bafana Bafana as the Mother City plays host to all three of the national soccer team’s group stage matches in the Orange African Nations Championships (Chan).

This year is the third instalment of the Chan, in which only players playing in their country of birth are eligible. It was originally meant to be held in Libya but was moved to SA after the revolution there.

Bafana will play in the opening game today at 6pm against Mozambique at the Cape Town Stadium in a group A clash.

Nigeria and Mali will take to the field for their match at 9pm.

Cape Town Stadium will also play host to the final on February 1 and the third place play-off on the same day.

Grant Pascoe, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and marketing, called on all Capetonians to get behind Bafana.

“Let us relive the spirit of the 2010 Fifa World Cup and paint the town yellow once again. Put on your soccer shirts and head down to the Cape Town Stadium with your vuvuzelas.

“The double header promises great excitement.”

He added that the fan walk would also be reopened to lead commuters from the city centre to the stadium.

Mayor Patricia de Lille has also dubbed Fridays as Chan Fridays and encouraged supporters to wear the shirts of the teams or dress in their favourite teams’ colours for the duration of the tournament. In preparation for the tournament, the City of Cape Town held several roadshows across the city on Friday which included the Gugulethu Mall, the Mitchells Plain Plaza and the Philippi Shoprite Centre.

A final rehearsal for the opening ceremony for the tournament was also held on Friday morning.


- Pretoria News