Top players miss friendly

Bafana Bafana have secured a friendly game with the Elephants of Côte d’Ivoire at the end of the month.

City Press has learnt the two countries will meet again in the annual Nelson Mandela Challenge on November 30 at Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga.

But this time the two teams will be weakened as the day does not fall under a Fifa calendar and will feature only local-based players.

Fans will not be able to watch the Touré brothers – Yaya and Kolo – and other big name players who ply their trade overseas. Bafana’s members of the foreign legion will also not be part of this game.

The two nations played to a 1-1 draw in the 2011 edition of the challenge at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Mbombela Stadium was scheduled to host yesterday’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier between Bafana and Sudan, but it was moved to Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium to honour late Bafana goalkeeper and captain Senzo Meyiwa.

Safa CEO Dennis Mumble confirmed to City Press the game was set for November 30, a day after the Telkom Knockout final between defending champions Platinum Stars and ­SuperSport United.

This means players from the two sides, including Siyabonga Mpontshane and Luvolwethu ­Mpeta, are going to miss out. The two Stars

players are part of the current Bafana team that will travel to Nigeria for the last round of Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

United’s Sibusiso Khumalo is also not going to be considered.

Coach Shakes Mashaba will also have a chance to widen his pool by affording fringe players an opportunity to impress him.

Mumble said they would use the game to launch the new Bafana kit, although it would

only be available early next year for the Nations Cup finals.

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