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Government has applauded an initiative by Latin America and Caribbean countries in helping to promote the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
This is after the Grulac (Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries) formed a partnership with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to promote soccer.
Grulac is made up of the embassies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela.
Makhenkesi Stofile, Minister of Sport and Recreation, described the partnership as a major step forward in the build-up to the World Cup.
Stofile was speaking at the Grulac six-a-side Under-13 schools tournament at the Zoo Lake in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Each of the 16 primary schools represented a Grulac country and South Africa.
Danny Jordaan, the LOC's chief executive, said the partnership will help spread positive news of South Africa's hosting of the World Cup to all South American countries, with the aim of attracting major tourists from the region to the soccer showpiece in 2010.