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15 October 2012

South Africa eagerly awaits AFCON 2013

South Africa once again stands poised to attract international football headlines, when the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations takes place early next year in 5 cities.

FNB Stadium in Soweto FNB Stadium in Soweto

While we have the infrastructure and the experience to host the matches, we will spare no effort to make South Africa proud hosts of the tournament in a safe and secure environment in our province - Thandi Modise, Premier, North West province

There is much excitement around the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which takes place early next year.

Johannesburg, Durban, Rustenburg, Nelspruit and Port Elizabeth were selected as AFCON 2013 host cities. The 32-match tournament will run between 19 January and 10 February 2013. Opening and closing events will take place at Soweto’s FNB Stadium, (formerly Soccer City), which was revamped to the tune of millions of rands for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™.

Tickets for the continental tournament are now on sale, affordably priced between approx R50 and R200. Fifteen African nations will participate in the biennial event, last won by Zambia. The championship is organised by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the winner qualifies for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup™ taking place in Brazil, ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.

The provincial governments involved in the tournament are urging support from football fans in their regions. Gauteng plans a public viewing of the tournament draw, scheduled to take place on 24 October in Durban. It is also publicising weekly 'Magnificent Fridays', days on which supporters are encouraged to wear national team colours.

Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Lebogang Maile, was recently quoted in the press as saying: 'As we join millions of South Africans in celebrating this milestone, I would like urge all Gauteng citizens to get ready for the tournament, buy tickets and rally behind the tournament to ensure that it becomes a success.'

North West Premier, Thandi Modise, told an AFCON local organising committee (LOC) delegation: 'While we have the infrastructure and the experience to host the matches, we will spare no effort to make South Africa proud hosts of the tournament in a safe and secure environment in our province.'

The North West’s venue for matches is the Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Rustenburg, where new dressing room facilities are being constructed with a R5 million donation from the Bafokeng people.

The 3 other stadiums that will be used were also venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. They are the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth, the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit and the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.