SAFA Soweto has commended the Gauteng department of sport, arts, culture and recreation for helping develop soccer in the province by sponsoring the Gauteng Future Champions tournament.
Safa Soweto chief executive Phil "Chippa" Mogodi said the role played by the department would go a long way to ensuring that quality players are produced for Bafana Bafana.
The tournament, which starts with the preliminary eliminations in the six Gauteng regions and ends with 12 international teams also participating, started at the weekend.
Mogodi said they had also included a talent identification programme as part of the event. Three "highly talented" youngsters - Refiloe Jane of Soweto, Frans Kekana of Tshwane and Daveyton's Sibusiso Molefe - are off to Manchester, England, today for further training.
The week-long trip is organised by international sports company Global Sports International.
"We only started with the tournament last year but it has already generated massive interest locally and internationally. We have also been getting requests from clubs abroad to be part of it," Mogodi said.
"It is clear the tournament has helped a great deal in putting Gauteng, especially the townships, on the international map ahead of the World Cup."