The momentum for the 2014 Orange African Nations Championship (CHAN) is gradually building up with the arrival of five teams for the tournament.
The quintet consists of DR Congo, Gabon, Libya, Mali and Mauritania; with the others expected before the opener on Saturday, January 11 in Cape Town.
The Congolese, winners of the maiden edition of the tournament designed exclusively for footballers playing in their domestic leagues in 2009 (in Cote d'Ivoire), were the first team to touch down, arriving in Johannesburg on December 29 last year.
This was to afford Santos Mutumbile and his charges ample time to acclimatize and fine-tune for the championship fixed for 11 January to 1 February.
Next to arrive was Libya, touching down on January 3 before Gabon, Mali and Mauritania joined later the same day.
A delegation from the Local Organising Committee (LOC) was at the airport to officially welcome the teams before transporting them to their respective venues.
Hosts Bafana Bafana have also landed in Cape Town ahead of the opener against Mozambique, expected in town on Wednesday, January 8. Also arriving on the same date are fellow debutants, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Nigeria.
Ghana, losing finalists in the maiden edition are scheduled to arrive on Sunday, January 5, via Windhoek (Namibia), where they held a training camp just as Zimbabwe. Both teams together with DR Congo remain the only ones to have qualified for every edition of the biennial tournament thus far.
The Atlas Lions of Morocco have confirmed their arrival for Monday, January 6 for their maiden participation in the CHAN tournament, with Uganda touching base three days later.
The last teams to arrive will be Burundi and Congo, on the eve of the official opening of the tournament.
The tournament will take place in three cities, Cape Town, Mangaung and Polokwane, with the final billed for Saturday, February 1, 2014 in Cape Town.