All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) are targeting more than 12 million pupils from 30000 primary and secondary schools to intensify their campaign of promoting the 2009 Confederations Cup and the 2010 World Cup.

The LOC chairman, Irvin Khoza, said the special school campaign, known as "Adopt a Nation", was a perfect vehicle to reach out to more South Africans on the two competitions.

The campaign was launched in Johannesburg last Saturday, where Minister of Education Naledi Pandor and Danny Jordaan, the LOC's chief executive officer, were among the dignitaries present.

This came hardly a month after Sepp Blatter, Fifa president, raised concerns about lack of visible promotion campaigns at the airports locally and globally around the two competitions.

Khoza said pupils will be encouraged to adopt countries participating in the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, including learning about their culture, languages and national anthems.

"Our aim is to make this global event, located here in South Africa, appeal to every province and city across the country and the continent.

"Schools have been identified as a primary vehicle to get the 2010 Fifa World Cup messages not only to children, but indeed families and communities in South Africa and the African continent.

"Our schools have a vital role to wet the appetite for the world's showcase football events, and we want every pupil in this country to be part of these historic events," Khoza said.

As part of the campaign, pupils will work on creative elements like writing essays, poetry, art projects, music and dance performances relating to the Confederations Cup, where the winners will get tickets to watch the competition.

Another aspect of the programme is that thousands of teachers will also be given special coaching courses to help improve the standard of development soccer, with the main focus on schools.