Cape Verde nationals based in Angola have been urged to travel to South Africa to support the islands’ national team in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

Cape Verde will be making their AFCON debut in 2013, having stunned former champions Cameroon in the final round of qualifying in October last year.

Nicknamed the Blue Sharks, the islanders will have the honour of playing against host nation South Africa in the opening match in Soweto on Saturday evening.

They will also face Morocco and Angola in their other Group A matches.

Speaking to Angop media in Luanda, ambassador Domingos Mascarenhas said about 18 000 Cape Verdeans are registered with their embassy. Many of the expat community will travel to South Africa for the competition.

The large Cape Verdean community in Angola is due to historical links between the two countries (both former colonies of Portugal) and the fact that both speak Portuguese.