Belgium to play Burkina Faso as part of World Cup buildup

February 10, 2022 GMT
Burkina Faso's Cheick Djibril Ouattara, right, controls the ball chased by Cameroon's Malong Kunde, left,
during the African Cup of Nations 2022 Third place soccer match between Burkina Faso and Cameroon at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Burkina Faso's Cheick Djibril Ouattara, right, controls the ball chased by Cameroon's Malong Kunde, left,
during the African Cup of Nations 2022 Third place soccer match between Burkina Faso and Cameroon at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Burkina Faso's Cheick Djibril Ouattara, right, controls the ball chased by Cameroon's Malong Kunde, left,
during the African Cup of Nations 2022 Third place soccer match between Burkina Faso and Cameroon at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Burkina Faso's Cheick Djibril Ouattara, right, controls the ball chased by Cameroon's Malong Kunde, left, during the African Cup of Nations 2022 Third place soccer match between Burkina Faso and Cameroon at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Burkina Faso's Cheick Djibril Ouattara, right, controls the ball chased by Cameroon's Malong Kunde, left, during the African Cup of Nations 2022 Third place soccer match between Burkina Faso and Cameroon at the Ahmadou Ahidjo stadium in Yaounde, Cameroon, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

BRUSSELS (AP) — Belgium will host Burkina Faso in a friendly match next month as part of its World Cup preparations.

The game scheduled March 29 at the Lotto Park, home of first-division club Anderlecht, will be the first time the nations square off.

The Belgian federation announced the match on Thursday.

Belgium, FIFA’s top-ranked team, has another friendly scheduled three days earlier against Ireland in Dublin.

Burkina Faso recently made it to the semifinals at the African Cup of Nations.

“During the preparation for a World Cup, it is always good to play against countries from other continents,” Belgium coach Roberto Martinez said. “With their semifinal spot at the African Cup, Burkina Faso has already shown that they will be an interesting opponent for the Red Devils.”

Last November, Belgium qualified for its third straight World Cup.

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