South Africa to host Egypt at Ellis Park

AFP, Tuesday 8 Mar 2011

South Africa will host Egypt at Ellis Park here on March 26 in a crucial 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, the national football association said Tuesday

Bafana Bafana
Bafana Bafana supporeters are eagerly waiting for Egypt match (Photo: Reuters)

The fixture was expected to be played at Soccer City, the 95,000-capacity stadium on the border of Johannesburg and Soweto that hosted the World Cup final last year.

But a pitch that was relaid after a U2 pop concert last month cut up badly from the start of the Soweto derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates two weeks ago.

There were so many divots that the referee halted play in the middle of each half for a 'water break' on an afternoon that was not particularly hot, allowing ground staff to rush around the pitch and make temporary repairs.

Although Ellis Park is the home of the Golden Lions Super 15 rugby union team, it has hosted numerous football fixtures and was among the 10 South African venues for the World Cup.

South Africa lead Group G with four points after two rounds followed by Niger (three), Sierra Leone (two) and title holders Egypt (one) and only mini-league winners are guaranteed a finals place.

Egypt wanted the game postponed until June because no domestic football has been possible since a popular uprising against the rule of Hosni Mubarak began two months ago, but South Africa insisted the fixture go ahead.

Short link: