proud day for centre chiefs

BOTSWANA soccer chief Ernest Molome has praised South Africa for delivering on its promise of making the 2010 World Cup a truly African tournament.

BOTSWANA soccer chief Ernest Molome has praised South Africa for delivering on its promise of making the 2010 World Cup a truly African tournament.

Molome is the chairperson of Botswana soccer giants Mochudi Centre Chiefs, who will participate in Saturday's big gumba to open the newly built Moruleng Stadium in Rustenburg.

Chiefs will play against Premiership side Platinum Stars in one of the festivities lined up by the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela Tribal Council, who built the stadium to the tune of R170million.

"It's a great honour for us (Chiefs and Batswana in general) to be part of this historic day. We praise South Africa for bringing us on board," said Molome.

"We are also Bakgatla, for us this is good because it will help a lot in terms of all of us working together in the preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

"The 2010 World Cup has generated a lot of interest in Botswana. We have many buses booked for Saturday's game. People want to see the preparations for themselves."

Chiefs, who are chasing their second consecutive Botswana Premier League title, have five players doing duty for the Zebras, their senior national side.

The quintet are Toldo Barolong, Michael Mokgaldi, Dirang Moloi, Mpoeleng Mpoeleng and Jomo Moatlhaping, who used to play for Platinum Stars before returning to Botswana.

They will play against the likes of Jabu Mahlangu, Mbulelo Mabizela and Stanley Kgatla.

Chiefs are chasing their second consecutive Premier League title. They are now second on the log behind Gaborone United.

"We want to win the league again. As compared to last year, we feel we are ready now to participate in the African Champions League," said Molome.

"Saturday's game will help us a great deal in terms of getting our team ready for our maiden continental competition."

The 20000-seater Moruleng Stadium, which is about 10km from Sun City, was used by New Zealand's All Whites as a training venue during the Confederations Cup.

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