Gauteng funds international soccer tourney

The Gauteng provincial government has once more shown its commitment to soccer by organising and funding an international under 17 tournament.

The Gauteng provincial government has once more shown its commitment to soccer by organising and funding an international under 17 tournament.

Known as the Future Gauteng Youth Tournament, the competition will see local stars competing against their peers from other countries.

Safa Gauteng is also a partner.

It is one of the 2010 World Cup legacy projects and is also aimed at helping South Africa prepare for the 2014 World Cup scheduled for Brazil.

The Gauteng government, represented by MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation Barbara Creecy, has signed a cooperation agreement with Brazil.

Gauteng and Brazil will also host the inaugural Soccerex Brasilia Forum on March 17 and 18. Gauteng has been hosting Soccerex since 2007.

The Future Gauteng Youth Tournament has already started, with academies and clubs battling it out for a slot in the international event in March.

"We are grateful to the Gauteng government, especially Creecy, for helping us once more to promote soccer," said Phil "Chippa" Mogodi, Safa Soweto president.

"It has been decided that academies and clubs will play separately so that everybody is given an equal opportunity to compete.

"The final phase will be played on January 24 and 25 when the top two academies and top two clubs will qualify for the international competition."

Mogodi referred further enquiries to Ivor Hoff, the chief director in Creecy's department, but he could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

The international competition will be played in various parts of Gauteng, with the finals scheduled for the rebuilt Orlando Stadium, in Soweto, in March.

Participating clubs will be from Brazil, Spain, Italy, Germany, France and England.

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