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Four friendlies lined up for the national side as SAFA negotiate opponents

Final arrangements are being made to the warm-up programme for South Africa ahead of their hosting of next year’s African Nations Cup finals.

Bafana Bafana have planned four friendlies for the build-up but were waiting for last week’s draw before deciding on two of their opponents.

Now South African Football Association (Safa) officials are now in discussions with prospective opponents for a pre-Christmas game plus a final warm-up match a week before the opening the tournament at Soccer City on January 19.

Next up for the national team -- after losing to Poland and beating Kenya away in their last encounter earlier this month -- is the Nelson Mandela Challenge match against reigning African champions Zambia at Soccer City on November 14.

South Africa will then play in Durban on December 23 against a top African opponent who are also headed to the Nations Cup -- but not one of the sides who will share South Africa’s group -- Angola, the Cape Verde Islands and Morocco.

The team then have a brief holiday break and re-assemble to play against Norway on January 8 in Cape Town.

The last preparatory game will again be against a Nations Cup finalist, set for Gauteng on January 13. The game cannot be played at Soccer City because it is prohibited that close to the start of the tournament so Safa are considering the Orlando Stadium, Ellis Park or Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria, officials said.