U-17 tourney excites talent scouts

Safa in Gauteng plans to use the new development tournament to sell the province ahead of the Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

Safa in Gauteng plans to use the new development tournament to sell the province ahead of the Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

The Gauteng Future Champions is an under-17s tournament and is organised by the provincial government to fast-track development in the area.

Participating teams include Inter Milan (Italy), Mumbai Academy (India), K Stars (Zambia), Notwane (Botswana) and Corinthians (Brazil).

On the local front, South Africa will be represented by Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows, Sedibeng region and Joburg Select.

"The Gauteng government presented us with a golden opportunity to sell ourselves globally," said Phil "Chippa" Mogodi, Safa Johannesburg president.

"We have been inundated with enquiries from various clubs across the globe who want to come scout for new players.

"We feel that we should take advantage of this tournament to promote our townships, especially in the hospitality sector.

"The more than 500000 tourists who will be here for the World Cup will definitely want to visit Soweto, Mamelodi, Katlehong, Mohlakeng and others.

"We will also be using the tournament to encourage our people to go out there and apply for tickets for the Confederations Cup."

The tournament will take place from March 23 to 25. Participating teams have been placed in three pools of four each for the first round.

Teams in stream A are Notwane, Mumbai, Sedibeng and Inter Milan.

Those in stream B are Joburg Select, Esperance (Tunisia), Green City (China) and Boca Junior (Argentina).

Barbara Creecy, Gauteng MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation, said: "We trust that our international visitors will return home with fond memories of the warm hospitality shown by our people."

Irvin Khoza, LOC chairman, said they were encouraged by the support from the Gauteng government and Safa in helping them promote the Confederations Cup and World Cup.

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