Uefa final for Shilowa

Mbhazima Shilowa, Gauteng Premier, and MEC for sports, arts, recreation and culture Barbara Creecy have been invited to attend next year's Uefa Cup final in Germany.

The trip will be part of a fact-finding mission to prepare for the 2010 World Cup where other leaders in the province will also attend.

The plan was revealed after a recent meeting between Shilowa and Gunther Oettinger, minister-president of Baden-Wurttemberg state, one of Europe's leading technology regions.

Also present at the meeting in Johannesburg was Creecy and Sibusiso Xaba, who is the head of the economic development department.

The meeting was aimed at developing Gauteng as a globally competitive province focused on trade and investment, research and innovation, skills as well as sport.

Creecy also took the Oettinger-led delegation on a visit to various sites in Gauteng where preparations for the World Cup are under way, including Soccer City where the opening and final matches will take place.

"Gauteng will be the capital of sport in 2010 and for years after that," said Oettinger.

"We would like the Gauteng delegation to come and learn from our good and bad experiences during the Soccer World Cup last year. We hope they won't make the same mistakes.

"Next year will be an ideal time to put our heads together [at the 2008 Uefa Cup final]. After that Gauteng has two years to practice what we could teach them."