The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will host its first matches in the African Cup of Nations tournament on Sunday, 20 January with a double-header, as Ghana takes on the Democratic Republic of Congo, followed by Mali against Niger.
The tournament kicks off at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on 19 January, when hosts South Africa play against Cape Verde. The Final will take place on Sunday, 10th February – also at the FNB Stadium.
Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will host no fewer than eight matches, on six days during the three week tournament, which was last staged in SA in 1996, when the hosts emerged victorious, following a 2-0 victory over Tunisia in the final.
The four groups for the 2013 edition of AFCON are:
Group A: South Africa; Angola; Morocco; Cape Verde
Group B: Ghana; Mali; Niger; Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
Group C: Zambia; Nigeria; Burkina Faso; Ethiopia
Group D: Ivory Coast; Tunisia; Algeria; Togo
The matches to be played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium are as follows:
- Sunday, 20 Jan Ghana vs DRC; Mali vs Niger
- Thursday, 24 Jan Ghana vs Mali; Niger vs DRC
- Sunday, 27 Jan Cape Verde vs Angola (Group A match)
- Monday, 28 Jan Ghana vs Niger
- Saturday, 02 Feb Quarter-final (Winners: Group B vs Runners-up: Group A)*
- Saturday, 09 Feb Third-place Play-off
* It may be worth noting that if SA were to be runners-up in Group A, they would play a quarter-final match at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on 02 February. This would be preferable if we want to see Bafana Bafana at our stadium, because the only other possibility of them playing here is in the third place play-off. And we want to see them in the Final.