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03.05.2019 Cup of Nations

Black Stars To Play South Africa In A Friendly In Dubai Ahead Of AFCON

By Samuel Ekow Amoasi Appiah
Black Stars To Play South Africa In A Friendly In Dubai Ahead Of AFCON

Bafana Bafana head coach, Stuart Baxter has confirmed that his outfit will play the Black Stars of Ghana while on camp in Dubai.

South Africa have a complicated preparation period for AFCON 2019 due to the staggered schedule of many of their players, coupled with the fact that the COSAFA Cup will be taking place just before the tournament in Egypt gets underway.

Baxter revealed today that a camp has been organised in the Middle East in order for the Bafana players to acclimatise to the hotter weather that awaits them, and also explained that they are talking to three other nations about warm-up games in both South Africa and Egypt.

Speaking to the media about the possibility of facing Algeria or Tunisia and possibly Zambia, the Bafana coach said, “We’ve had contact with both of them… Both of them are willing to play a game, but you’ve obviously got to go through the normal channels of sending emails to the associations and receiving a confirmation back.

“We don’t want to play too close to the Ivory Coast game, but we want to play two teams that will bring everybody up to speed - it doesn’t have to be an official national match, it could just be in place of training.

“We want to play an international friendly before we leave South Africa and we’ve been speaking to Zambia, so they’ve also said they’re willing to play, but we haven’t got official confirmation - Ghana we do have, that’s confirmed.”

South Africa have been drawn against Ivory Coast, Morocco and Namibia in their AFCON group.

However, Ghana have been handed an opening game at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations tournament against Benin.

The Black Stars have also been paired with defending champions Cameroon and Guinea Bissau in Group F.

The top two teams from the group will automatically progress to the knockout stage, while the third-placed side will have to finish among the four best third-placed sides from all the groups to make the next round.

Ghana are four-time champions and last annexed the diadem in Libya 1982 and will be hoping to end it 37 years trophy drought in Egypt.

The 32nd edition of Africa's prestigious tournament starts from June 21 to July 19.