The prestigious 8-Nation International tournament will provide South Africans with the unique opportunity to see some of the cream of the world’s football talent in action, with proceedings kicking off in Cape Town today (Friday, 25 May 2012).
The teams joining hosts South Africa in this exciting array of youth are Argentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Ghana, Japan, Kenya and Nigeria.
The tournament starts at 18H00 at the Athlone Stadium when South Africa Under-20 coach Solly Luvhenho leads his charges into battle against Argentina.
The South Americans have won six of the 17 FIFA U-20 World Cups to date, in the process blooding players such as Lionel Messi, Javier Saviola and Sergio Agüero.
The second match of the day will be another potential thriller when bitter West African rivals Ghana and Nigeria go head to head (kick off is at 20H30, also at Athlone).
The prestige of the 2012 8-Nation International tournament is highlighted by the intense interest it has received from the international football community – representatives from some of the biggest clubs across the globe will be down in the Mother City over the next 10 days.
“We have been inundated with phenomenal interest from some of the biggest football organizations in the world, the likes of Real Madrid (Spain), Manchester United (England) and clubs from Brazil will all be sending scouts to watch the tournament,” said acting SAFA President Mandla Shoes Mazibuko.
“We kick off with two fantastic games which should set the trend for a highly entertaining week ahead. With the quality of the teams on display, there are certain to be many top class players on display.
“This represents a wonderful opportunity for soccer fans to come out in their thousands and see some wonderful football. I hope also to see talent scouts from our PSL clubs – they can identify some very exciting young players for the future,” said Mazibuko.
The tournament is divided into two groups, with the top two sides from each group going into the semi-finals.
South Africa is in the same group with Argentina, Nigeria and Ghana, while Group B consists of Brazil, Cameroon, Kenya and Japan.
Fixtures are as follows:
Fri 25 May 2012 – Athlone Stadium
18h00 SA v Argentina
20h30 Ghana v Nigeria
Sat 26 May 2012 – Cape Town Stadium
14h00 Kenya v Japan
16h30 Brazil v Cameroon
Sun 27 May 2012 – Cape Town Stadium
14h00 SA v Ghana
16h30 Argentina v Nigeria
Mon 28 May 2012 – Athlone Stadium
18h00 Brazil v Kenya
2030 Cameroon v Japan
Tues 29 May 2012 – Cape Town Stadium
18h00 SA v Nigeria
20h30 Argentina v Ghana
Wednesday 30 May 2012 – Athlone Stadium
18h00 Brazil v Japan
20h30 Cameroon v Kenya
Fri 01 June 2012 – Athlone Stadium
18h00 Winner A v Runner up B
20h30 Winner B v Runner up A
Sun 03 June 2012 – Cape Town Stadium
3rd Place Play-off
14h00 Loser 1st Semi-final v Loser 2nd Semi-final
17h00 Winner 1st Semi-final v Winner 2nd Semi-final