South African football fans are set to feast upon top opposition when SAFA host the return of the Nelson Mandela Challenge to celebrate the centenary of the late former state president and struggle icon.
Since 1994, the Nelson Mandela Challenge has been an annual spectacle to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, but the fixture was abandoned in 2017 due to FIFA’s decision to have Bafana’s World Cup qualifier with Senegal replayed following suspicion of match-fixing.
With celebrations of what would have been Madiba’s 100th birthday this year having kicked off with Mamelodi Sundowns welcoming Spanish giants FC Barcelona in a friendly encounter in May, SAFA are set to follow suit by bringing a world football powerhouse of their own.
Acting CEO Russel Paul on Monday confirmed to the media that a team “from another continent” is set to touch down on local shores to take on Bafana on November 20 – three days after facing The Super Eagles – with an official announcement to be made this week.
Bafana coach Stuart Baxter has already named a 23-man squad to face Nigeria, which will also be used for the friendly fixture.