JOHANNESBURG – The South African Football Association (SAFA) are in talks with Holland with the view of getting the 2010 World Cup finalists to play Bafana Bafana in this year’s Nelson Mandela Challenge.
Should the deal be clinched, the two teams will clash on March 24 at a venue yet to be decided.
SAFA communications boss Dominic Chimhavi confirmed yesterday (Thursday) that they are keen to have Stuart Baxter’s men test themselves against the Oranje in what would be the second Mandela Challenge match between the two sides.
Back in June 1997, the Dutch beat Bafana 2-0 at the FNB Stadium in a match that saw Brian Baloyi make his debut for the senior national team. Also playing for the first time at senior international level was a young Benni McCarthy.
“Yes we are talking to Holland. We also want to commemorate Nelson Mandela with various activities. There are still discussion on whether we should play the game against Holland on the 24th of March or closer to his birthday (July 18, when he would have turned a 100 had he still been alive),” Chimhavi clarified.
The association intends to take advantage of the international FIFA week and have Bafana play another match after the clash with Holland.
“On the 27th of March we will play another friendly. We are still trying to find the opposition for that date. We are talking to different national teams. We will surprise a lot people this year with the type of the opposition that we have lined up,” Chimhavi chimed.
Having failed to qualify for the World Cup to be hosted by Russia in June, Bafana are likely to be able to attract top opposition in countries keen to play preparation matches for the global showpiece, particularly those that have been grouped with African countries for the first round.