Bafana practice match in Dubai moved to later in the day due to soaring temperatures

Bafana Bafana during training at FNB Stadium (Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix)

Bafana Bafana during training at FNB Stadium (Aubrey Kgakatsi/BackpagePix)

The practice match between Bafana Bafana and the Black Stars of Ghana on Saturday in Dubai, UAE, has been moved to two and a half hours later due to soaring temperatures.

The match was initially meant to start at 3pm, but with the temperatures soaring to over 45 degrees at that time of the day, the two teams mutually agreed to a later start.

The heat, aggravated by high humidity has seen temperatures in Dubai rise to as high as 47 and 48 degrees Celcius, forcing most teams camping there in preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament in Egypt to stay mostly indoors during the day and train later when temperatures drop.

On Wednesday, Bafana assistant coach Molefi Ntseki met with the Ghanaian delegation and both parties agreed to play their match later in the day.

The two delegations also agreed the match will now be a practice game to allow all players from both sides to have a run during the match, as both teams finalise their preparations ahead of the Egypt showpiece.

Bafana coach Stuart Baxter also changed the team’s programme. Bafana were scheduled to leave for Egypt on June 16, but decided to leave Dubai the following day after playing Ghana; meaning the team will now travel to Cairo on Sunday.

Baxter said leaving early will give the team more time to prepare for the Angola match on June 19.

The match between Bafana and Angola will be played at a venue between Cairo and Suez, where the two teams are based respectively.

South Africa open their Afcon campaign against Ivory Coast on June 24 in Cairo and four days later take on Namibia, also in the Egyptian capital.

Their last group game is against Morocco on July 1 in Cairo.

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