Creating 2010 awareness

Richard Nkosi and Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Mbombela municipality in Nelspruit has already started creating awareness for the 2010 World Cup by bringing international games to the area.

Mbombela has invited Under-19 teams from neighbouring countries - Swaziland and Mozambique - to play in a tournament against a local side from June 8 to 10.

Swaziland and Mozambique are serving on the Mpumalanga 2010 World Cup technical committee, a structure overseeing the preparations for the tournament.

The games, dubbed "2010 Inter-Municipal Games", will be held in Nkomazi, near Komatipoort. Runny Mthethwa, Mbombela social department assistant director, said the games were started in 2004 in Mbabane, Swaziland.

It was after a 2002 meeting between Mbabane, Nelspruit and Matola (Mozambique) where a twinning programme agreement was signed.

"This year's event will start with a traditional gala night on June 8 that will be graced by top officials from the three countries," said Mthethwa.

"At night cultural dancers from all the countries will perform. There will be a soccer tournament the following day (Saturday).

"There will also be a 21km half- marathon where runners. The soccer tournament will be in a knockout format. The finals will be held at KaMhlushwa Stadium on June 10," said Mthethwa.

Meanwhile, the Mbombela municipality is busy selecting their teams for the tournament. Their structure of trials is divided into four, namely, KaBokweni, KaNyamazane, Ngodwane and Masoyi.

In each structure they will select a bunch of 18 players to form a squad, which will then compete against each other, to finally select their representative. Desmond Golding, the Mpumalanga 2010 World Cup Deputy Director-General, said they were happy with their preparations.