Port Elizabeth, 25 September 2019 – South African Football Association (SAFA) President, Dr Danny Jordaan, has officially announced Mali as Bafana Bafana’s opponent for the 25th edition of the Nelson Mandela Challenge taking place on 13 October 2019 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Pictured from left to right: SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Head of Commercial Phumulani Hlatshwayo, NMBM MMC: Economic Development, Tourism & Agriculture Cllr Marlon Daniels, Bafana Bafana Head Coach Molefi Ntseki, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium Manager Mpho Mokonyama, NMBM Deputy Executive Mayor Cllr Thsonono Buyeye
The announcement was made today at a press conference held by SAFA in conjunction with the City the at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, in Port Elizabeth.
“Mali is a formidable opponent and we have a long and strong relationship with them. We thank the City and the Mandela Bay Development Agency for making this match possible. We are pleased to have partnered with the stadium and City named after Nelson Mandela as we celebrate his legacy.
This game will be Mali’s debut appearance in the Nelson Mandela Challenge, but the two sides are no strangers to each other on the pitch.
New Bafana Bafana Head Coach Announces Squad
Mr Jordaan also shared a message of support with the new Bafana Bafana Head Coach, Molefi Ntseki, who was appointed to this role earlier in August.
“We wish you good luck in your new role which is both a challenge and equally an honour,” added Jordaan.
Ntseki announced the 23-man squad for the match in October, expressed his excitement stating that, “it is an honour to be appointed as Bafana Bafana’s coach and begin this journey at this iconic stadium and city named after our late former President. We need to be patriotic as South Africans and support our team.”
NMB Stadium 10th Year Anniversary
As 2019 marks the stadium’s 10th year anniversary, hosting the Nelson Mandela Challenge at the only stadium in the country named after global icon and late former President of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, is of particular significance and forms part of a series of celebrations of this milestone by the stadium.
This also marks be the third Nelson Mandela Challenge to be hosted at the NMB Stadium. In 2005 and 2011, Bafana Bafana played Senegal and Ivory Coast respectively at the stadium.
Economic Stimulus to the City
The Nelson Mandela Bay Executive Deputy Mayor, Cllr Thsonono Buyeye, who welcomed the delegation, expressed the City’s excitement and thanked Mr Mike Kwenaite, who represented the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) and SAFA for working together to bring the tournament to the Bay.
He also cited the significance of hosting this event in the City, stating that “This stadium is the City’s biggest asset and hosting events of this caliber presents us with an opportunity to bolster the local economy through providing stimulus to the tourism and hospitality industries, amongst others.
Such events will also help the City respond to the scourge of unemployment through creating both temporary and eventually permanent job opportunities in the long run.”
He also called on SAFA to bring more games of this stature to the City and committed to providing all the support required, particularly in terms of safety and security.
The Marketing Director of The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, Nomthi Mnisi, thanked SAFA for the continuous support throughout the decades, citing that they [SAFA] have contributed greatly to the sustenance of the foundation.
Bafana Bafana will arrive in Nelson Mandela Bay on 08 October to prepare for the match, which is scheduled to take place on Sunday, 13 October 2019, kicking off at 15H00 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Tickets will go on sale from the 27 September 2019 at Computicket: Shoprite and Checkers stores for R40 Adults, R20 children under 12