Ghana to light up Mbombela

THE Mbombela Municipality has secured a big international game between Ghana and Uruguay on March 3 as part of the festivities to open the new stadium for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

THE Mbombela Municipality has secured a big international game between Ghana and Uruguay on March 3 as part of the festivities to open the new stadium for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

"That will also be part of the celebrations as we (South Africa) will be 100 days from hosting the World Cup," said Ronny Moyo, the municipality's 2010 unit marketing chief.

"We are over the moon that two global soccer giants will play at our new stadium as part of their preparations for the 2010 World Cup.

"We want to have small games to test the stadium prior to the March 3 game. We have four municipalities taking part in a sports festival on February 26 to 28.

"The municipalities, which are from South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique are Mbombela, Mbabane, Matola and Nkomazi.

"The construction of this world- class stadium is complete. In fact, we are busy with the lawn after we realised that it was laid on the wrong soil - 25 percent of the turf supplied had been grown in clay, which was not too bad but we could not run the risk of having the stadium flooded in the event that it rained."

Ghana, who will be led by Michael Essien, have already made it clear they will set up their base for the World Cup in Nelspruit.

Uruguay, winners of the inaugural World Cup which they hosted in 1930, are in Group A with Bafana Bafana, France and Mexico.

On the other hand, Ghana - who were the first African country to qualify for the World Cup - are in Group D with Germany, Australia and Serbia.

Moyo said the popular gospel musical group, Joyous Celebration, will also launch their 14th album at the new stadium on March 6.

"The initial plan was for Joyous to record it live at the stadium on December 12 but we had to postpone it because of the lawn challenges," he said.

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