Bafana Bafana

SAFA confirms both AFCON qualifiers against Sao Tome to be played in SA

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Luther Singh of South Africa celebrates his goal with teammates during the International Friendly match between South Africa and Namibia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on October 08, 2020 in Rustenburg, South Africa.
Luther Singh of South Africa celebrates his goal with teammates during the International Friendly match between South Africa and Namibia at Royal Bafokeng Stadium on October 08, 2020 in Rustenburg, South Africa.
Lefty Shivambu

The South African Football Association (SAFA) and the Sao Tomean Football Federation have agreed that the home and away 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers between Bafana Bafana and Sao Tome and Principe will be played in South Africa.

The first match between the two countries will take place at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Friday, 13 November (19:00) with the second following on Monday, 16 November (15:00).

"The two countries mutually agreed that due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic, it was in the best interest of the two that they do everything in their power to safeguard the interest of players and officials. Therefore, both parties agreed that the first and return leg matches will all be played in South Africa," a statement read on the official SAFA website.

"The two nations agreed that this historic arrangement that has since been relayed to CAF, was precipitated by flights restriction within the African continent and health dangers posed by the coronavirus pandemic."

With no travel arrangements needed for the national team, it gives head coach Molefi Ntseki more time with his players on the training field.

The 50-year-old has already assembled a 25-man squad for the Sao Tome's fixtures with Itumeleng Khune recalled to the national squad for the first time in over a year.

In Bafana Bafana's first outing in nearly a year last month, Ntseki's charges suffered a 1-1 draw against neighbours Namibia and a 2-1 defeat against Zambia.

Meanwhile, South Africa are currently second in their AFCON qualifying Group C after their victory over Sudan and defeat against Ghana last year.

The Black Stars are first place with Sudan in third while Sao Tome occupy last place.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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