13 January 2013

Africa: 2013 Afcon Interest Soars as D-Day Approaches

Photo: Buanews
South African soccer fans.

Excitement builds up as the count down to the kick off of the 29th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations due to take place in South Africa draws nigh. The various delegations are pouring into South Africa for the continent's showpiece event while organizers put finishing touches on the preparation. Public interest in the tournament has soared with a record sale of entry tickets recorded.

'South Africa is ready to host a successful 2013 Africa Cup of Nations'; the local organizing committee chairman, Mwelo Nonkonyana, assured the continent on Friday. The local organising committee chairman says it has put in place plans that will ensure that every team and visitor to South Africa will be provided with an environment to enjoy the tournament and compete equally. Mwelo Nonkonyana said 'it is all systems go' for the continent's football jamboree."The Orange AFCON 2013 awaits us. We will receive a multitude of people on our shores. Let them feel the 'Beat at Africa's Feet'. Let us receive them with the spirit of ubuntu as we celebrate Africa," Nonkonyana said.

South Africa took over the hosting of the tournament from Libya, which withdrew following the political turmoil during the Arab Spring. Having hosted a spectacular 2010 Fifa World Cup, with the highest standard sporting facilities and infrastructure, South Africa was the logical choice to take over from Libya at such short notice. The tournament will be played in five cities - Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Nelspruit and Rustenburg. All of them have upgraded or newly built stadiums. Ethiopia, Nigeria Algeria, Togo D.R. Congo, Cape Verde, Zambia, Côte d'Ivoire, Tunisia, Burkina Faso, Angola, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Ghana and host South Africa.

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