Cameroon vs Bafana Afcon qualifier - Limbe stadium approved by Caf

2016-03-02 06:00
PHOTO:GALLO IMAGES Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim ‘Shakes” Mashaba (middle) and his first and second assistants Owen da Gama (right) Thabo Senong.

PHOTO:GALLO IMAGES Bafana Bafana coach Ephraim ‘Shakes” Mashaba (middle) and his first and second assistants Owen da Gama (right) Thabo Senong.

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SOUTH Africa’s crucial African Nations Cup qualifier in Cameroon on 26 March will go ahead at the new Stade Omnisport de Limbe despite concerns over outstanding construction at the Chinese-built stadium.

The move from Cameroon’s usual Yaounde base, where they are unbeaten in competitive matches for the last 40 years, has been approved by the Confederation of African Football (Caf).

Cameroon Football Federation president Tombi A Roko Sidiki had revealed in January that Caf had concerns over outstanding work that needed to be done on the venue, but the country’s government has since signed all the paperwork to say the venue is ready for use.

But this is not quite so. A report from two weeks ago suggested the stadium still had to have its access roads and car parks completed, and that Caf had demanded a fence be built around the venue for security reasons.

Those improvements are only expected to be completed by the end of May.

Reports in Cameroon also say that the Chinese builders of the stadium have been dismissed and replaced by Egyptian company Arab Contractors. The decision to go to Limbe means South Africa face a difficult road journey to get to the city, which is some two hours away from the nearest airport in Douala.

This will be the first time that the Indomitable Lions, who also have a new coach in the Belgian Hugo Broos, have played in the port city of Limbe, which has an official population of 85 000 and a new stadium that can seat a modest 20 000.

South Africa trail Cameroon by five points in Group M of the Nations Cup qualifiers and must get an away win to keep their hopes of reaching Gabon next year alive.

The teams will meet again three days later at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban for the reverse fixture. – Mzansi Football

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