The first game of the 2014 CHAN tournament will see Bafana Bafana take on Mozambique in Cape Town.
It remains to be seen what side head coach Gordon Igesund will select for the tournament when it begins in January of 2014, although it is doubtful that there will be many of the South African-based Bafana regulars involved.
The tournament takes place on non-FIFA dates and only players playing within their nation’s domestic leagues are available for selection.
In a press release by Chan, CAF Second Vice President and Chairman of the CHAN Organising Committee, Almamy Kabele Camara, said, “The CHAN is a good tribute to local footballers. It has given local players a platform to showcase their talents to a global audience. The idea mooted by CAF President Issa Hayatou is a good initiative and has started yielding results.
“Today, the CHAN is the second biggest tournament after the flagship Africa Cup of Nations. The number of teams has increased from eight to sixteen (16) and it has generated so much interest and attention not only in Africa but globally.
“For this edition, we commend the Government of South Africa for ensuring that all is well for the successful hosting of the tournament.”
GROUP A(Cape Town Stadium)
South Africa, Mozambique, Nigeria, Mali.
Zimbabwe, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Uganda.
Ghana, Congo-Brazzaville, Ethiopia, Libya.
(Peter Mokaba Stadium)
DR Congo, Mauritania, Burundi, Gabon.
Next year’s tournament will be Bafana’s second entry into the competition after they managed to reach the quarterfinals in 2011, and Igesund will no doubt be eager to try out some of the young or fringe players currently plying their trade in the PSL.
CHAN will take place between January 11th and February 1st, 2014.
By Joe Crann
Follow Joe on Twitter: @YesWeCrann