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Bafana Bafana set to face world champions France

8:11 PM IST 23/01/22
Rushine De Reuck & Victor Letsoalo, Bafana Bafana, October 2021
The experienced mentor explained that the 1996 African champions will use the two friendlies as preparation for the 2023 Afcon qualifiers

South Africa head coach Hugo Broos has disclosed that his side will battle it out with reigning world champions France in March 2022. 

Bafana Bafana will be inactive in the upcoming Fifa international week later this month after their failure to advance to the final round of the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers.

The encounter against France's Blues will be Bafana's first match since they lost 1-0 to Ghana in their final World Cup qualifier in November last year. 

Broos, who has been in charge of the Southern African giants since May last year, also revealed that his side will take on Zambia during the March international week. 

"We are playing March against France and I think against Zambia after that," Broos told Sunday Times.

"Those are the two matches to prepare us for the [2023] Afcon qualifiers in June. You are playing against the world champions. 

"Strong opposition give you proper preparation. Even if you lose the games it is not a train smash."

The Belgian tactician stressed the importance of playing against France, who won the 2018 World Cup, before adding the 2021 Uefa Nations League title to their trophy cabinet.

"You can learn a lot of things and get an indication of where your team is at. Immediately you will see where the weaknesses are," he explained. 

"Such games tell you the distance the team has covered. They give you something more. Maybe that is what we needed and didn't have for the qualifiers of the World Cup. We didn't really play tough matches."

Bafana played Uganda in a friendly match in June last year, before participating in the Cosafa Cup which they won as part of their preparations for their unsuccessful 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign. 

The last time South Africa faced France was almost 12 years ago and Bafana emerged 2-1 winners in the 2010 World Cup Group A match in Bloemfontein.