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East London and Mthata marked

By unknown | Jun 27, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Eastern Cape 2010 World Cup Unit is earmarking East London and Mthata as base camps for the tournament, it was announced this week.

Eddie du Plooy, a member of the unit, said they wanted to ensure that other areas in Eastern Cape also benefited from the tournament's spin-offs.

The unit is a structure made up of representatives from the Eastern Cape government, organised business, community structures and the South African Football Association.

"We all know that the thrust of the whole of Eastern Cape province lies with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Bay in terms of the World Cup," said Du Plooy.

"Port Elizabeth is the only city in this province that will host the World Cup. We are excited that the city will also be a venue for the 2009 Confederations Cup.

"All our energies as the people of Eastern Cape will go to Port Elizabeth. We are promoting the city as a tourist destination.

"I must add that we will also promote other cities like East London, which already enjoys many tourists," said Du Plooy.

On the issue of training bases, he said plans were at an advanced stage to build a new stadium in Mthata.

"We are looking at building a stadium with a capacity of between 30 000 and 35 000 people. A piece of land has already been identified."

The area has been without a proper stadium after the demolition of the once intimidating Mthata Stadium that was used by the now defunct Bush Bucks.

"Besides Mthata Stadium, we will also be using East London Stadium as a base camp. There are also major plans to upgrade that stadium."

The upgrading of East London Stadium and the building of a new facility in Mthata will also form part of the Eastern Cape 2010 World Cup legacy projects.

"We are also going to revolutionise amateur soccer in Eastern Cape. Our immediate task is to organise regular administration, refereeing and coaching courses," said Du Plooy.

"It is sad that some of the muni-cipalities like Chris Hani do not even have a club or referee in the Vodacom League.

"Laying a solid foundation for soccer development will help us in our efforts to have clubs from Eastern Cape back in the Premiership.

"We also have to see other muni-cipalities other than Nelson Mandela having more professional coaches, referees and assistant referees."


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