EC shows off its cup progress

The Eastern Cape government is anxiously awaiting the start of the popular Vodacom Challenge, saying it will help showcase their 2010 World Cup preparations.

The Eastern Cape government is anxiously awaiting the start of the popular Vodacom Challenge, saying it will help showcase their 2010 World Cup preparations.

Gogo Mongoyi, the provincial 2010 World Cup strategic manager, said: "The Challenge has generated a lot of interest in the Eastern Cape. We are also inundated with enquiries from people in other provinces regarding accommodation and entertainment services.

"There is no doubt that the continued staging of the Challenge in the Eastern Cape is also helping to boost our economy.

"The multitudes of people expected in Nelson Mandela Bay municipality will be able to see for themselves that we are on track with the preparations for the World Cup."

Eastern Cape will host the third leg of the Challenge - the Soweto derby featuring Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs at Port Elizabeth Stadium on July 24.

Reigning English Premiership champions Manchester United, who are also the European Cup holders, will be the third team in this year's event.

United, who will also unveil their Mozambican sensation Manucho in this celebrated tournament, will arrive in the country on July 18. The Red Devils will be in Cape Town the next day for a match with Amakhosi, who defeated them on penalties in the final of the same tournament two years ago.

On July 22, United meet Pirates at Kings Park Stadium in Durban. The winner of the Pirates-Chiefs game in Port Elizabeth will face United in the final at Loftus on July 26.

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