7 January 2014
The stage is set for the opening ceremony of the African Nations Championship 2014 (Chan), which will be held at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
The opening ceremony will take place ahead of the kick-off of the first game between hosts South Africa and its neighbour Mozambique. The tournament will run until 1 February.
Mvuso Mbele, chief executive of the local organising committee (LOC), said no compromises had been made in the planning of the tournament: “The opening ceremony of any event sets the tone for what is to follow and that is why we have pulled out all the stops to ensure that Africa and the rest of the world experience one of the most memorable ceremonies in history. We urge everyone to get their tickets now and join us at the Cape Town stadium as we celebrate Africa.”
Award-winning musician Micasa as well as celebrated choreographer Somizi Mhlongo will be part of the line-up that will entertain fans during the opening ceremony.
Meanwhile, more than 600 volunteers from all over the city are being trained by the LOC to give them the skills and knowledge they will require to ensure the tournament runs seamlessly, the City of Cape Town said on its website.
The volunteers will be involved in marketing, media accreditation, transport, logistics and protocol services. “The aim of the volunteer programme is to bring people from all walks of life together to lend a helping hand in staging this significant event – the first major soccer tournament in Cape Town since the 2010 Fifa™ World Cup,” the city says.
South Africa was named as the host after Libya gave up the right to host the event because of the continuing upheaval in the country. Libya will instead organise the 2017 tournament, which had been due to take place in South Africa.
Cape Town will serve as tournament headquarters and Bafana Bafana’s home base, in addition to hosting 16 of the championship’s 32 matches and staging the opening and closing ceremonies. The tournament’s remaining matches will take place in Polokwane and Mangaung.
Teams from 16 African countries will be compete in the tournament, kicking off with the opening match between South Africa and Mozambique at the Cape Town Stadium on 11 January.
Tickets are on sale at Shoprite/Checkers stores and Computicket outlets. Prices range from R40 to R200.
Match tickets are to be sold in three phases:
- Phase 1 – general group stage tickets. Sales are open.
- Phase 2 – for quarter-finals, semi-final and final match tickets without knowing which teams are placed. From 6 to 18 January.
- Phase 3 – for the semi-final and final match tickets, after knowing which teams have made it to the top eight for the semi-final and final matches, including the third and fourth play-off matches the final phase. From 19 to 22 January.
The 16 teams in the tournament are divided into four groups:
- Group A: South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Mozambique. Will compete at the Cape Town Stadium.
- Group B: Zimbabwe, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Morocco. Will play their matches at the upgraded Athlone Stadium.
- Group C: Ghana, Libya, Ethiopia and Congo. Will play matches at the Free State Stadium in Manguang and at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
- Group D: Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Burundi, Mauritania. Will play matches at the Free State Stadium in Manguang and at the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
The Bafana Bafana matches will be played at the Cape Town Stadium:
- Bafana Bafana versus Mozambique on 11 January at 6pm
- Bafana Bafana versus Mali on 15 January at 5pm
- Bafana Bafana versus Nigeria on 19 January at 7pm
Training venues include Green Point FC, Green Point Athletics Stadium, NY 49, Site C in Khayelitsha. Erica Park, Belhar is a back-up venue.
More about the Chan tournament
The CHAN tournament, established in 2007 and first contested in 2009, is administered by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and is played between the 16 best national teams in Africa.
National teams have to qualify for the event and may only feature players active in their local leagues. Players who play abroad – regardless of where, even in Africa – do not qualify to take part in the competition.