In preparation for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against fierce rivals Nigeria, South Africa’s Bafana Bafana are set to engage in four crucial friendly matches, Reelradio.com.ng reports.
The World Cup qualifying draw placed Nigeria and South Africa in Group C, alongside Zimbabwe, Benin, Rwanda, and Lesotho.
SAFA CEO Lydia Monyepao announced on Friday that Bafana, who qualified for Afcon with a game to spare in March, will host Namibia on 9 September, DR Congo on 12 September and Eswatini on 13 October.
Five days after the announcement of the Afcon draw, Hugo Broos’ men will travel to Ivory Coast, hosts of the African showpiece that starts in January, for their friendly on 17 October.
“These matches are in support of Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos as he continues his preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations in the beginning of next year, and the start of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers in November this year,” Monyepao said in a statement.
Match venues are expected to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Bafana were last crowned African champions in 1996 under late coach Clive Barker and were runners-up in 1998 with coach Jomo Sono.
As far as the World Cup is concerned, with the exception of qualifying as hosts in 2010, Bafana last competed in a World Cup in 2002. They narrowly missed out on qualification for the global showpiece in Qatar in 2022.
The 2026 World Cup will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States.