SAFA has confirmed Bafana Bafana’s upcoming rugby match for AFCON in 2022 against Sao Tome and Principe will both be played in South Africa.
Bafana will face Sao Tome in their third and fourth rounds in Group C this month, as they want to take a step closer to the continental showpiece in Cameroon.
The South Africans agreed to bear the travel costs of the national team of Sao Tome and their officials.
They will also take care of the accommodation costs of the national team of Sao Tome and their officials during the period deemed necessary. However, this arrangement will be questioned by some people, who believe in Fair Play, who may claim that it could harm the integrity of the competition.
It can then not be expected that a national team, the total cost of which is financed by their opponents, will play as well as one that has not received such favors.
The arrangement comes days after ZIFA turned down an offer from Algeria to host the Warriors’ home 2021 AFCON qualifier against the Desert Foxes in Algiers.
The Warriors take on the African champions on November 12 before the two sides meet in the National Sports Stadium four days later.
But with logistical challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic around the world, Algeria has proposed to offer both legs.
The North Africans have said they will cover Zimbabwe’s accommodation costs and other related costs.
“We have officially requested to use the same aircraft with the Algerians, after we were linked with them next week, but unfortunately their government aircraft cannot be used by non-Algerians,” said ZIFA president Felton Kamambo.
‘We would rather hire a flight for the mission.
“Then the Algerians suggested to us that both legs of the rugby players should be played on their land while they pay for our accommodation.
‘But we refused to accept the offer. We cannot sell our soul. Look, the country is currently in a festive mood following the lifting of the ban on the National Sports Stadium.
“We are happy now that CAF has accepted that we may use the National Sports Stadium for the big match against Algeria, pending its full overhaul.
“So we can not accept to play our home game in Algeria. We want our players to feel at home when we receive Algeria.
‘Although there will be no fans behind them, they can feel psychologically in the stadium that they feel very much at home in the National Sports Stadium.
“After rejecting the Algerians’ offer to play both matches in Algeria, we offered them the same (arrangement).
‘We suggested to them that both matches be played in the National Sports Stadium and that they cover their accommodation costs, but they also refused.
“The matches will therefore continue with them as hosts before we play at home between 12 and 16 November.”
But the South Africans, who will play against the Warriors in the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup, have made arrangements for both of their AFCON matches against Sao Tome to be played in the Limpopo. Coach Molefi Ntseki’s Bafana Bafana charges are currently in a second position, behind Ghana, with one defeat and one victory. He will want to claim six points from the next two meetings against the 182nd FIFA rankings. Their chances of doing so have now been increased by an agreement between the two football clubs that both matches will be played in South Africa.
Bafana would host the first match in Durban on November 13, before traveling off the coast of Guinea for the return in Sao Tome. However, the Sao Tome Football Federation has agreed to play their “home” device in Port Elizabeth on November 16 due to the ongoing travel restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic that could cause logistical problems.
“The two countries have mutually agreed that due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it is in the best interests of the two that they do everything in their power to protect the interests of players and officials,” reads a statement from SAFA. . “Therefore, both parties agreed that the first and the return matches will all be played in South Africa.
“In this regard, SAFA undertakes to bear the cost of the trip (return flight) of the national team of Sao Tome and its officials. – KickOff.com/Sports Reporter.