PE World Cup stadium hosts Soweto derby

South Africa's biggest soccer fixture, the Soweto derby featuring Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, will take place at the new Nelson Mandela Sports Complex in Port Elizabeth in July.

South Africa's biggest soccer fixture, the Soweto derby featuring Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, will take place at the new Nelson Mandela Sports Complex in Port Elizabeth in July.

The 2009 Vodacom Challenge fixture will take place on July 23 at the stadium that is being built to the tune of R1,5billion.

The game is part of the Eastern Cape provincial government and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's campaign to market the area for the 2010 World Cup.

Previously, the derby for this yearly off-season tournament was played at the EPRU Stadium in Port Elizabeth, which is about 5km from the new complex.

The winners will meet visiting English Premiership side Manchester City in the final on July 25.

Bicks Ndoni, Nelson Mandela Municipality's deputy mayor, said they were happy with the progress in the construction of the stadium. The 48 000-seater complex is one of the 10 match venues for the 2010 World Cup.

The new stadium will be unveiled on June 16 with a rugby game between the touring British Lions and Coastal XV.

The municipality had earlier planned to use a match featuring local side Bay United and Golden Arrows on Saturday to officially open the stadium.

With Umlilo now relegated to the National First Division despite having to play two more games, this Absa Premiership match will be played at EPRU Stadium.

The first soccer game to take place at the new stadium will be the Premier's Cup on July 5. Participating clubs will be announced later this month.

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