Demanding 2017 for national teams

Apart from a demanding year for most of the national teams, 2017 is set to be one of the most exciting periods as far as football activities are concerned.

Later this month, the Under-20 men’s national team Amajita will travel to Zambia for the CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations while Bafana Bafana will compete on three fronts – CHAN, AFCON 2019 qualifiers and FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifiers.

Starting next week, the entire Confederation of African Football Executive will descend on South Africa to watch the CAF Super Cup featuring CAF Champions League winners Mamelodi Sundowns against CAF Confederation Cup champions TP Mazembe of DR Congo.

The match will be played at Lucas Moripe Stadium on 18 February and kicks off at 19h00.

“The entire CAF Executive will be in attendance including president Issa Hayatou, his two deputies and the entire CAF Executive Committee. The interest from the continent for this CAF Super Cup has been massive as evidenced by the number of officials coming for the match,” said SAFA president Danny Jordaan.

Three days after welcoming CAF’s top executive to the country, FIFA president Gianni Infantino will arrive in South Africa to oversee a 3-day FIFA Summit that will take place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 21-23 February.

“It is the first time the FIFA President will be in the country since assuming office and we look forward to welcoming him here. The summit will also be attended by a high number of the Presidents of CAF Member Associations,” said Jordaan who himself has had a taxing last few weeks.

The SAFA president was in Zurich on 9 January where among other things, he had meetings at FIFA HQ before attending the Best FIFA Football Awards, an event which was attended by officials from around the globe and football icons including the great Diego Maradona, Frank Rikjaard and many others.

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From Zurich, Jordaan flew to Gabon via Johannesburg where he spent the entire month at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations as part of the CAF Organising Committee.

He was based in Port Gentil which hosted Group D consisting Ghana, Egypt, Mali and Uganda. The venue was also host to the third and fourth-place match between Burkina Faso and Ghana.

“My task was to make sure that everything goes well at the venue and I was also Match Commissioner to some of the games. Whilst there, I attended CAF Organising Committee and Executive Committee meetings,” said the SAFA President.

Jordaan returned to South Africa this week and will chair a SAFA NEC meeting on Saturday, 11 February at SAFA House which will discuss the appointment of the new Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana coaches.

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“It is going to be an amazing coming weeks but we are excited to host some of these top global events because it goes to underscore SAFA’s status as a leading Association on the continent.

“This is going to be a busy year in terms of all our national teams as well. For example, Bafana Bafana will be involved in CHAN, Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers; all in 2017,” concluded Jordaan.