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Huge boost for South African football as SAFA bids to host several major events

South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan

FILE - South African Football Association president Danny Jordaan. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Mar 11, 2022

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Johannesburg — South Africa is set to receive a major boost after the South African Football Association (SAFA) announced the intention to host this year’s CAF Champions League final and the CAF Women’s Champions League tournament.

SAFA president Danny Jordaan said on Friday that the wheels are already in motion and plans are underway to bid for both events.

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“We have indicated to CAF that we are quite keen to host the second edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League on the basis that it would be wonderful for the defending champions, Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies, to defend their crown on home soil in South Africa,” he said.

“So we are keeping our fingers crossed because we do not know who else will submit a bid, but we as SAFA are going to submit a bid.”

Jordaan said SAFA have also set their sights on hosting this year’s CAF Champions League final.

South Africa have two representatives in the Champions League, and the country’s flag is being flown by Mamelodi Sundowns and AmaZulu FC. Sundowns currently head the standings in Group A, and they host Egyptian side Al Ahly in a highly anticipated clash at FNB Stadium on Saturday.

AmaZulu are second behind Raja Casablanca in Group B. They travel to Algeria to face ES Sétif, also on Saturday.

“We are following the success of both AmaZulu and Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Champions League, and of course, both of them are doing well,” he continued.

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“This weekend’s [CAF Champions League] group matches with Mamelodi Sundowns against Al Ahly, and with AmaZulu currently in Algeria, will determine their positions, and they may also go into the final round.

“So we hope that at least one of the two, but hopefully both of them will make it to the final. It would be just wonderful to host the CAF Champions League final with a South African team or both South African teams in the final. We will be watching and applying the CAF Champions League final as well.

“That [the CAF Champions League final] will be in May, CAF Women’s Champions League tournament is in November, so there is a good space between the two events.”

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Jordaan revealed that SAFA will also bid to host the Africa Women Cup of Nations in 2024.

“As far as the Africa Women Cup of Nations is concerned, we [Banyana Banyana] have qualified for the 2022 tournament in Morocco [from 2 July to 23 July]. Our team made it to the final in Ghana [in 2018 where they lost to Nigeria on penalties].

“They are going to Morocco and we are hoping they will be in the final of this competition. Certainly, they must qualify for the World Cup. On that basis, we have indicated to CAF we are keen to host the 2024 Women’s Cup of Nations. We will be discussing this matter with the minister of sport, Minister Nathi Mthethwa, and ask the government to give us support to make that bid because it is not a once-off match, it is a tournament.

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“Therefore we need to get government support for the bid to host the Afcon for women in 2024. I think we should have a significantly strong team by then to, hopefully, be in the final and win it.”

IOL Sport

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