Pro soccer returns to Soweto

Sowetans will be among the first people to reap the rewards of the 2010 World Cup legacy projects with professional soccer returning to one of South Africa's biggest townships.

Sowetans will be among the first people to reap the rewards of the 2010 World Cup legacy projects with professional soccer returning to one of South Africa's biggest townships.

This will be on November 23 when Moroka Swallows welcome Platinum Stars in an Absa Premiership match at Orlando Stadium.

The match will form part of the big celebrations for the opening of the stadium which for decades served as the mecca of South African soccer.

The festivities will also include the official handing over of the stadium by the main constructor to Amos Masondo, executive mayor of the City of Johannesburg.

Greats such as MacDonald "Rhee" Skhosana, Finky "Mathousand" Sekete, Bigboy Kholoane, Richard "Litre" Lata and Brian Tlale will also be part of the occasion.

Sipho Xulu, general manager of Swallows, said they were over the moon to see the Beautiful Birds returning to their roots in Soweto.

"We have already informed the Premier Soccer League about our decision to take the game against Stars to Orlando," he said.

"There are still a few things that we are discussing with the City of Johannesburg. We will be able to make an announcement sometime this week."

But according to the PSL fixture lists, the Swallows-Stars match is scheduled for Orlando Stadium on that day.

Phil "Chippa" Mogodi, Safa Soweto chief executive, said they were happy that bringing the World Cup to South Africa was beginning to benefit them.

"We have not been officially informed about the game on November 23, but I'm aware that there is a big soccer fiesta to celebrate the reopening of the stadium.

"It is good that the stadium is complete, that is good for the development of soccer in Soweto because we will be able to see professional soccer in our own back yard.

"What makes me even more happy is that it is now a world- class facility, one of the best in the world," said Mogodi.

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