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THE Gauteng government is excited that participating teams in this year's Under-17 International Future Champions tournament are from various continents.
Nelisiwe Mtimkulu-Mbatha, the sports, arts, culture and recreation MEC, said the diversity of participating teams will help them spread awareness of the 2010 Fifa World Cup more widely.
Bankrolled by Mtimkulu-Mbatha's department, the tournament will be played at Safa Soweto headquarters from January 25 to 30.
Twelve development clubs from overseas will take part, including Botafogo (Brazil), Shadong Luneng (China), Paris Saint Germain (France), Dublin District Schoolboy League (Ireland), Mumbai Academy (India) and DC United of the US.
Kaizer Chiefs, SuperSport United-Tottenham Hotspur, Safa Johannesburg and Safa Tshwane will represent South Africa in the event.
"We will use the tournament to show off our readiness for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, it is also part of our legacy projects because it more about development," Mtimkulu-Mbatha said.
"The opening and closing ceremonies will take place here in Gauteng (at Soccer City). We are happy the upgrading of the facility is in the process of being completed.
"Furthermore, almost all the people who will be entering South Africa by flights will land at the OR Tambo International Airport, which is also in Gauteng.
"We also have the Fifa headquarters for the tournament here in Sandton," Mtimkulu-Mbatha said.