BAFANA Bafana will face Cote d’Ivoire in the 20th edition of the Nelson Mandela Challenge.
The two nations clash on Sunday, 30 November 2014 at the Mbombela Stadium in Mpumalanga.
The Mandela Challenge is the beautiful game’s answer in honour of former late President Nelson Mandela’s nation-building efforts as well as the football fraternity’s annual pledge to the cause of children that Madiba delegated to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund to champion.
Other countries who have take part in the event include Brazil, Holland, Nigeria, France, Cameroon, the USA, Argentina and Sweden.
“The annual tournament not only represents an enduring partnership between the South African Football Association (SAFA) and Nelson Mandela Children’ Fund (NMFC), but is also a platform to bring a message for children’s well being to both the public and the football-loving community. Through the Nelson Mandela Challenge, the work of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund has truly been amplified,”said Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund CEO, Sibongile Mkhabela.
“Staged within a week of the first anniversary of Madiba’s passing, the challenge not only helps to keep top of mind Madiba’s use of sport as a tool to promote human solidarity but also to drive home the point that children are society’s most treasured assets for the people of the world to look after. With the Challenge, we are also kick-starting the 20 year anniversary of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund next year.”
The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund was held for the first time in 1994 with South Africa beating Zambia 2-1 at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg.
Over the years, the event has been held in several provinces around the country. The only time it was staged outside the country was in 2006 against Egypt in London – a match the North Africans won 1-nil.
Cote d’Ivoire returns for the second time in the Challenge. The first time the match ended in a 1-all stalemate three years ago at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
“We would like to welcome Cote d’ivoire back to our shores to take part in this prestigious annual event where we focus on the children to keep the legacy of Madiba alive. When he was alive he preached for the well-being of the children and we believe with this event we are walking in his footsteps,” said SAFA President Dr. Danny Jordaan.
“What is even more interesting with this year’s Mandela Challenge is that it comes at a time when Bafana Bafana is the toast of the nation after qualifying outright, for the first time since 2008, for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations 2015 in Equatorial Guinea. While coach Shakes Mashaba may be using the match to look for more players to add to his squad, as an Assocation we would like to use this match to celebrate the team’s achievement for qualification, and also wish them well in the tournament.”
The annual financial contribution of R1 million (one milliond rand) the Fund will receive from the match adds to the sustainability of the Fund to continue the carrying out of the mandate that the “Legacy of Madiba must live on.”
South Africa has won the Mandela Challenge seven times, with three matches ending in draws and suffered nine losses.
Last year’s Challenge was won 2-nil by Nigeria at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
There will be no penalty shootout in the event of a draw at the end of 90 minutes – with both teams sharing the trophy and all players receiving gold medals.