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Page last updated at 14:47 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 15:47 UK

Nigeria and SA line up friendlies

By Piers Edwards
BBC Sport, Johannesburg

South Africa's Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parriera
Carlos Alberto Parriera's South Africa are hoping for new friendlies

World Cup hosts South Africa have confirmed a home game against Thailand on 16 May in Nelspruit.

Bafana Bafana already have home games against Bulgaria on 24 May, Colombia three days later and Denmark on 5 June.

Nigeria will play Saudi Arabia on 25 May as part of their build-up to June's World Cup finals.

The Super Eagles Nigeria are still looking for stadiums in London to host the game and a friendly against Colombia five days later.

Originally the Super Eagles were trying to arrange to play Iceland on 25 May but that deal was not completed and Saudi Arabia have stepped in as replacements.

There has also been talk about a re-arranged game with China for South Africa. however this is yet to be confirmed.

Bafana Bafana had been due to play China in Germany last month but the Chinese withdrew at short notice citing travel difficulties because of the volcanic ash in Europe.

Parreira, who has been heavily critical of Safa's World Cup preparations, will now have at least five friendlies before the World Cup opener against Mexico on 11 June.

"We've had a meeting with Carlos and he's quite happy with all the arrangements we've made," Safa official Dennis Mumble told BBC Sport.

"We're now getting offers from all over the place, including some from fellow World Cup finalists, but we don't envisage any more than these five games."

Earlier this week, Safa announced that Bafana Bafana will play Bulgaria on 24 May in Johannesburg's Soccer City, the venue for this year's World Cup final.

We want our team to play with pride and passion, and we want to inspire them

Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe

The clash with the 1994 World Cup semi-finalists comes three days before the friendly against Colombia in Pretoria and the final match, against Denmark in Johannesburg, on 5 June.

Six days later, the lowest-ranked World Cup hosts in living memory will kick off the tournament against the Mexicans in Soccer City, where over 90,000 fans are expected.

To add extra incentive to a team that has struggled in recent years, Safa CEO Leslie Sedibe is hoping to secure a deal whereby the team receives one million rand (around US$131,000) for every goal scored.

"We want our team to play with pride and passion, and we want to inspire them," Sedibe announced on Wednesday.

The CEO added that separate negotiations with players over a general payment and bonus structure had still to be decided.

A group of locally-based players are currently in Johannesburg, where they have just entered their third and final World Cup camp.

Parreira took a mainly-local squad to his Brazilian homeland in March before travelling out to Germany last month for a 19-day camp as he worked on the squad's fitness and tactics.

The ten overseas-based players - such as Steven Pienaar, MacBeth Sibaya and captain Aaron Mokoena - named in Parreira's provisional 29-man World Cup squad are expected to join their team-mates around 16 May after the end of the European season.

Parreira must then name his final squad of 23 by 1 June.

Following their clash with Mexico, South Africa's Group A campaign concludes with matches against Uruguay in Pretoria (16 June) and against the French in Bloemfontein on 22 June.



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see also
Nigeria World Cup plans back on track
03 May 10 |  African
Nigeria World Cup plans in doubt
29 Apr 10 |  World Cup 2010
Nigeria match still needs venue
28 Apr 10 |  African
Nigeria cancel England camp
26 Apr 10 |  World Cup 2010
Nigeria World Cup plans hit snag
25 Mar 10 |  African
McCarthy dropped by South Africa
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
South Africa overcome Jamaica
29 Apr 10 |  World Cup 2010
Bafana Bafana draw with N. Korea
22 Apr 10 |  African
Parreira wants quality friendlies
08 Apr 10 |  African
World Cup is our Everest - Parreira
08 Dec 09 |  African


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