The Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) trophy tour will take place in Port Elizabeth on Saturday in a bid to spread the Afcon fever and generate enthusiasm in the area.
Standard Bank and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) are offering soccer fans the opportunity to see the trophy up close and have their pictures taken with the coveted prize.
The trophy will be on display at the Greenacres Mall in Port Elizabeth from 11am to 3pm, accompanied by two Bafana Bafana legends, Neil Tovey and Brian Baloyi.
Port Elizabeth is known as the Friendly City and it is gearing up to host fans from across the continent for the tournament, which runs from 19 January to 10 February.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will be a major host of matches, with seven games to be played at the venue, including the third-place play-off.
The city will be hosting Group B, which includes the Black Stars of Ghana, bronze medallists in 2012, Mali, DR Congo and Niger.
This follows the success of the Trophy Tour stop-over in Durban last month, where hundreds of fans got to see the trophy and had a chance to be photographed with it. They also interacted with Tovey and Baloyi.
“We had a great time in Durban; it was fun to meet the fans and see the excitement on their faces for the upcoming tournament,” Tovey said.
Baloyi agreed, saying it builds a sense of occasion ahead of the 2013 event.
“The eyes of the continent will turn to South Africa in January next year and we want to show them what fantastic hosts we are and what a great footballing country this is. That is why we want to create a positive vibe among South African fans and really help them get behind the tournament,” he said.
After the Port Elizabeth tour, the Afcon trophy will be taken to Jabulani Mall in Soweto on 24 November and its final stop will be at the Riverside Mall in Nelspruit on 8 November.
The trophy will be on display from 11am to 3pm in both Riverside and Jabulani Mall. – Nthambeleni Gabara, SAnews.gov.za