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December 23, 2013

Dust off your vuvuzelas for The African Nations Championship (CHAN)

Listen up soccer devotees; we have some kicking news for you. (There I go again, with the puns.) CHAN is coming to Cape Town next year, and we want you to get behind our home team Bafana Bafana in this African Nations Championship.

What is CHAN?

It’s not an acronym for anything. CHAN stands for The African Nations Championship, sometimes referred to as the African Championship of Nations. Established in 2007, CHAN is administered by the big leagues, namely Confederation of African Football (CAF) and consists of an intense soccer tournament between 16 of Africa’s best national teams. National teams have to qualify for the event and may also only feature players that are active in their local leagues. Which brings me to my next point, there are a number of Bafana players who are active in soccer teams abroad – the rules for CHAN state that players who play abroad (regardless of where, even in Africa) do not necessarily qualify for the tournament.

Bafana Bafana fans in Cape Town. Photo courtesy of mReport

What do I need to know?

Now that we have the politics out of the way, it’s time to dust off your vuvuzela’s and make some noise for CHAN and Bafana Bafana. Let’s get patriotic and make this city come to life as CHAN is the biggest football tournament in Africa since the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. The following 16 countries all have teams participating in the tournament: Burkina Faso, Burundi, Congo-Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the host nation South Africa.

And these16 national teams are divided into four groups:

  • Group A (South Africa, Mali, Nigeria and Mozambique) will compete at the Cape Town Stadium
  • Group B (Zimbabwe, Uganda, Burkina Faso and Morocco) will play their matches at the upgraded Athlone Stadium
  • Groups C and D will play their matches in Polokwane and Mangaung

Capetonians take note of these dates for when Bafana Bafana plays at Cape Town Stadium:

  • Bafana Bafana versus Mozambique on 11 January 2014
  • Bafana Bafana versus Mali on 15 January 2014
  • Bafana Bafana versus Nigeria on 19 January 2014

Today, 23 December, is the day that Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund announces the official squad who will be playing in the African Championship of Nations. Dates for the tournament have been set for after the festive season; when the City of Cape Town will celebrate its accolade as the World Design Capital 2014. These dates are confirmed for: 11 January to 1 February 2014.

Where can I buy tickets?

Get your tickets early to avoid the rush. Ticket sales have already started, and you can get your mitts on some at Shoprite/Checkers stores and Computicket outlets countrywide, ranging from R40 to a maximum of R200. The CHAN 2014 local organising committee has announced that match tickets are sold in three phases:

  • Phase 1 starts on Friday 29 November 2013, for general group stage tickets
  • Phase 2 runs from 6 to18 January 2014, for quarter-finals, semi-final and final match tickets, without knowing which teams finish first and second in each group
  • Phase 3, the final phase, runs from 19 to 22 January 2014, for the semi-final and final match tickets, after knowing which teams have made it to the top eight for the semi-final and final matches, including the third and fourth play-off matches.

I’ll be counting down to the opening ceremony that will take place at Cape Town Stadium, with my phone in hand, tweeting and instagramming the action as it happens. Be sure to follow Cape Town Tourism on Twitter and Instagram if you don’t want to miss a thing.

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