New stadium for Soweto

The Gauteng provincial government is to build a new soccer stadium in Soweto as a 2010 World Cup legacy project.

The Gauteng provincial government is to build a new soccer stadium in Soweto as a 2010 World Cup legacy project.

MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation Barbara Creecy said it will be built in Mapetla in partnership with the City of Johannesburg, Sport Talent Initiative and Tiger Turf.

Known as the Soccerex Park, it will be five-a-side stadium which will be used at no charge by the local youth during the day for various community projects.

"There will also be the sustainable Soccer 5 league games played in the evening," said Creecy, who also thanked organisers of Soccerex for their support.

Soccerex initiated and helped Diambars to establish an academy in Boksburg that will cater for southern Africa youngsters.

Diambars is a non-governmental organisation started by French soccer greats such as Patrick Vieira, Bernard Lama, Saer Seck and Jimmy Adjovi-Boco to develop soccer through education on the African continent.

The first academy was built in Dakar, Senegal, in 2003 to cater for west African boys aged between 13 and 18.

"Partnering with these projects will accord the department an opportunity to link them to our high performance and academy programmes.

"Other projects in the pipeline include a Unicef social development programme, a Brazilian football academy and Match training projects," said Creecy.

The Gauteng government is hosting the Soccerex, an event which will inject more than R7 billion into the economy of the province, until 2010. The first exhibition took place last year and Creecy has already described it as a roaring success.

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