Soweto giants for Macufe tourney

Thabo Johnson

Soweto blood rivals Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates are billed for the Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe) tournament.

The yearly cultural feast celebrates its tenth anniversary this year.

The Macufe festival, sponsored by the Free State department of tourism, environmental affairs and economics, will officially start on September 28.

The knockout tournament, with two semifinals and the final taking place on the same day (similar in format to the Telkom Charity Cup), is destined for October 7 at the Free State Stadium.

It will also feature the two Free State sides, Bloemfontein Celtic and Free State Stars.

The soccer tournament has become the closing event of the festival since 2003.

Lungile Jan, chairman of Basumi Ba Africa, this year's Macufe organisers, was thrilled to announce the coup at Thursday's launch of this year's festival.

"We secured these teams because we want to offer show goers the best and make the tenth Macufe anniversary memorable.

"These giants are a draw-card and there is no doubt that this year's Macufe as a whole will be one of the most successful in history," said Jan.

Stars and the Buccaneers will be making their debut in this year's cultural feast.

The tournament started in 2003 with Chiefs and Phunya Selesele.

The Amakhosi have since won three editions of the Macufe soccer showpiece.

The number of participating club was increased to four last year.

The 2006 edition featured Celtic, multiple Castle Premier League champions Mamelodi Sundowns, Ghanaian giants Ashanti Gold Sporting (former Asante Kotoko) and Hearts of Oak.

Gold Sporting scooped the title by beating Sundowns 1-0 in the final.

Tickets, which cost R40, are already available at Computicket outlets and at Shoprite supermarkets countrywide.