R3,5m for schools under-12 tourney

THE 2010 Danone Under-12 Cup will be sponsored to the tune of R3,5million after the sponsors and South African Schools Football Association (Sasfa) extended their contract by two years.

THE 2010 Danone Under-12 Cup will be sponsored to the tune of R3,5million after the sponsors and South African Schools Football Association (Sasfa) extended their contract by two years.

This is an increase of R1,5million on last year's tournament. The winners of this development tournament will represent South Africa at the Danone International Nations Cup in October.

It will be one of the two major global soccer competitions taking place in South Africa this year after the 2010 Fifa World Cup in June and July.

"We have agreed to retain the same format of nine players, half field, which has proved to be popular with the children," said Sasfa secretary Steve Pila.

"We urge people in the regions to adopt it for the development programmes because we are now seeing more children playing soccer.

"The year 2010 is a great one for us in South Africa because of the Fifa World Cup and more importantly for development, we have the Danone International Nations Cup."

The South African version of the tournament started in Northern Cape last weekend where Port Nolloth became the first school to qualify for the national championships.

Western Cape will decide their provincial champions in Mossel Bay tomorrow. The nine provincial winners will battle it out on May 8 to decide the South African champions.

Sasfa president Mandla Mazibuko said they were planning to use the refurbished Orlando Stadium in Soweto as the venue for the international tournament from October 3 to 7.

Mario Reis, the sponsors' Southern Africa general manager, said they were delighted that the tournament was growing globally.

Last year's final, which was postponed due to the outbreak of swine flu in Brazil, will also be played in South Africa.

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