Safa has announced that the South African national team will honour former President Nelson Mandela by hosting the reigning African Champions Nigeria on August 14
Then they will play 2013 Afcon runners up Burkina Faso in the Nelson Mandela Sport and Culture Day at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on August 17.
On the same date the Springboks rugby team will face Argentina in a test match, also at the FNB Stadium, being a unique occasion for both the soccer and rugby team to share the stage. The occasion will finish off with a concert at night.
“It is a great honour for us to be associated with such a huge and significant, and also highly important project for our former State President. When we got the invite to be part of this venture, we did not hesitate as Madiba has made a selfless sacrifice for the nation,” said Safa President Kirsten Nematandani on the official Safa website.
“We are obviously mindful of the fact that the former President is not well in hospital. We can only wish him all the best for him to come out and be among us so he can continue to inspire us as he has done for many years. This event shows that no one can unite the country quite like he has, and we are proud to be taking part,” said Nematandani.
The South African national team will first participate in the Cosafa Cup tournament in Zambia this month. Coach Gordon Igesund has had to field a second string team, but the first team is expected to be available for the Mandela Challenge.