U-17 tourney to drum up 2010 support

SAFA Soweto plans to use the second edition of the Gauteng Future Champions tournament to intensify their awareness campaign for the 2010 Fifa World Cup finals in the area.

SAFA Soweto plans to use the second edition of the Gauteng Future Champions tournament to intensify their awareness campaign for the 2010 Fifa World Cup finals in the area.

The Under-17 tournament, which will be contested by local and international development teams, starts on Saturday.

The final is scheduled for January.

Phil "Chippa" Mogodi, Safa Soweto chief executive officer, told Sowetan that the preliminary rounds will feature local football associations and regional teams.

The six Gauteng regions where the preliminary matches will be played are Ekurhuleni, Motsweding, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Sedibeng and West Rand.

Premier Soccer League development teams - including those of Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Moroka Swallows, Ajax Cape Town and Jomo Cosmos - will be involved in a separate preliminary round.

The Gauteng finals will take place on the weekend of November 21-22.

The four top teams - two from the regional tournament and two PSL academy teams - will join the 12 teams invited from various other countries in an international tournament that starts on January 24.

Earlier this year the inaugural tournament attracted teams from as far afield as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Italy, Tunisia, Brazil and Argentina.

"This is a big tournament, which has helped to put Soweto on the international map in its first season, that is why we feel we have to use it to market the 2010 World Cup," Mogodi said.

"We want to invite experts from the Local Organising Committee, including chairman Dr Irvin Khoza, to talk to Soweto residents about the 2010 World Cup spin-offs."

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