Nigerians add spice to super U-19 cup
Two leading Nigerian soccer teams, Enyimba and Rangers, have been included in this year's third edition of the SuperSport Under-19 Cup tournament scheduled for Soweto, starting from August 9 to 12.
This emerged at the launch of the prestigious competition at a colourful function held in Randburg yesterday.
Shardi Matthews, tournament director, told Sowetan that Nigeria was targeted as the first country from Africa to be invited to take part in the contest.
"We hope to invite another country from Africa next year to compete in the 2008 tournament because we have a good relationship with the African countries,'' said Matthews.
Irvin Khoza, tournament patron, said he was happy that the tournament was growing in stature since its inception.
Participating teams have increased from last year's 16 to 20 this season.
"The tournament is watched by many influential people in South Africa, so it is an ideal platform for our young players who dream of representing Bafana Bafana in 2010,'' said Khoza, 2010 World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman.
Imtiaz Patel, SuperSport chief executive, said: "We are proud to be playing our part in channelling tomorrow's champions and are especially pleased that two Nigerians teams will be taking part this year."
The tournament will be played on a round-robin basis with the top teams in the group advancing to the quarterfinals.
Matthews said the winning team would take part in an international youth tournament next July at a venue still to be confirmed.
Teams: Group A: Mamelodi Sundowns, Santos, Black Leopards, Ajax Cape Town, Soweto Select X1.
Group B: Silver Stars, AmaZulu, School of Excellence, SuperSport United, Bidvest Wits.
Group C: Jomo Cosmos, Orlando Pirates, Enyimba, Moroka Swallows, Old Mutual Football Academy.
Group D: Benoni Premier United, De Beers, Bloemfontein Celtic, Rangers, Kaizer Chiefs.