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SPORTS UPDATE

W/Cup Champs France pick S/Africa, Ivory Coast for friendly

World champions France will play Ivory Coast and South Africa in a pair of March friendlies, the French football federation revealed on Friday.

France host the Ivorians on 25 March in Marseille and Bafana Bafana four days later (29 March) in Lille, their first games against African opponents since a 0-0 draw with Ivory Coast in November 2016.

Ivory Coast lost on penalties to Egypt in the last 16 of the Africa Cup of Nations, while South Africa failed to qualify. Both countries have also been eliminated from 2022 World Cup qualifying.

It will be the first time France have faced South Africa since a 2-1 defeat at the 2010 World Cup, where they crashed out in the group stage.

France are currently third on the FIFA rankings with Hugo Broos’ side 68th in the world.

South Africa’s last match came back in November when they controversially lost 1-0 to Ghana in their 2022 World Cup qualifier at the Cape Coast Stadium. A protest lodged with FIFA calling for a replay of the match failed to fly.

Ghana who crashed out early in the Nations Cup which ends on Sunday with Senegal and Egypt billed for final, have a two legged world cup playoffs with Nigeria in March to determine picks a ticket to the world cup in Qatar in November. Ten African countries are involved in the playoffs and only five will earn tickets to the world cup.

 

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