9 December 2011
Several countries that have qualified for the 2012 African Nations Cup, kicking off in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon in January, are heading to South Africa to make use of the country’s World Cup facilities ahead of the continental showcase.
Among the countries that have expressed interest in setting up a training base in South Africa ahead of the championships, that run from 21 January to 12 February 12, are Zambia, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea and Angola.
Both Zambia and Ghana are also expected to play friendly matches against Bafana Bafana as part of their preparations. The dates and venues of the matches are still being finalised.
Boasting some of the best facilities in the world, South Africa will be ideal for countries participating in the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) finals, as it has similar weather patterns to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
In the past, a number of African countries set up training camps in Europe and flew back to Africa just before the championships kicked off. Now they have world-class World Cup facilities on the continent to aid their preparation.
SA Football Association CEO Robin Petersen said he was excited by other countries’ interest in using South Africa’s World Cup facilities as this would go a long way towards sustaining the country’s World Cup legacy.
“We want the 2010 World Cup legacy to benefit several generations to come, especially South Africans and the football family on this African continent,” Petersen said.
“Setting up of bases here is a good sign that our World Cup facilities will never turn out into a white elephant.”
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