13 January 2024 – The first day in Côte d’Ivoire seemed to go off well for Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos and his men as they settled into their new home, the CAN Village in Korhogo, ahead of the start of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Bafana Bafana share their surroundings with the three other teams in their group – Namibia, Mali and Tunisia.
Situated along the main road, the village is a mere 10 minutes for the airport and the training grounds, which makes its location an ideal spot.
The long travel and the delays at both OR Tambo International Airport and in Abidjan saw the team only getting to bed about 02h00 in the early hours of the morning, South Africa time, and due to the small domestic flight between the capital and Korhogo, most of the luggage only arrived at about 13h00 on Friday 12 January 2024.
The team was officially welcomed by the Confederation of African Football at the 34th edition of the AFCON, a tournament that Côte d’Ivoire will be hosting for the first time since 1984. The General Coordinator welcomed Bafana Bafana officially and handed over the plaque to captain Ronwen Williams as an induction into the tournament.
Training at Lycee Modern de Korhogo, which is the training facility assigned to team South Africa, boasted all the amenities needed to prepare for the AFCON and players like Williams, Themba Zwane and Mothobi Mvala were back on the pitch pushing towards their next goal, to be in the line-up when the team play their first game against Mali in a few days time.
“This pitch is wonderful. It’s really good when we have all we need to prepare and these grounds are very good for training,” said Broos after their first session.
The AFCON officially starts today (Saturday 13 January 2024) and the South African senior men’s national team will play their first match against Mali on Tuesday 16 January 2024.