With less than a hundred days to go before the kick-off of the 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa, the Gauteng provincial government has called on locals to get behind the tournament.
The biennial competition will be staged in five South African cities, namely Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg and Nelspruit, between 19 January and 10 February.
With both the opening and closing matches billed to take place at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium (formerly Soccer City), the Gauteng government is pulling out all the stops to ensure a successful event.
“We are very proud to once again be hosting the opening and closing of a major sporting event following the successful 2010 Fifa World Cup,” said Gauteng MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation Lebogang Maile.
Everyone should start wearing green and gold and fly the South African flag high, Maile added.
Leading up to the tournament, the department has planned a number of campaigns aimed at encouraging Gauteng communities to rally behind the tournament.
These include Magnificent Fridays, public viewing of the screening of the Afcon draw, the Mandela Challenge and Bafana Bafana matches.
The draw for the tournament is scheduled to take place in Durban on 24 October. Fifteen teams, who will emerge from the final qualifiers, will join hosts South Africa for the draw to determine the first-round groups for the tournament.
Zambia, or “Chipolopolo” as they are affectionately known, are the defending champions.