Gauteng to spend R12-m on soccer events

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“This year we have allocated R12-million to hosting prestigious events in the ‘Home of Champions’. These include the finals of the third Vodacom Challenge between Manchester United, Chiefs and Pirates,” says Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Barbara Creecy.

Gauteng will host the final of the annual tournament, which is scheduled for Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, next Saturday.

Other tournaments that the funds will be allocated to include the Eight Nations U-17 International Club Tournament and Supersport U-19 Cup.

The former will include teams from Europe and the continent, while the Supersport junior tournament will see the participation of 22 teams, among them local academies and sides from Angola and Zambia.

Creecy also reveals that the province is embarking on a project to restructure the six Safa structures in Gauteng. The move, she says, is aimed at improving the football association’s management, good governance and enhancing service delivery.

“The Department (of Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation) will ensure that Safa structures are strengthened with regard to management, good governance and improved delivery of the sport. All six Safa Gauteng structures have been assisted to develop business plans that will be supported by the Department,” she says.

“Safa Gauteng will be established with an independent office by the end of the calendar year. Four coaching programmes are to be staged for 100 coaches, and 40 refereeing courses will be implemented.”

She reiterates that stadium construction for the Fifa 2010 World Cup is ahead of schedule.

The province boasts Soccer City, Loftus Versfeld and Ellis Park Stadiums. The rebuilding of Soccer City, which began in early 2007, is expected to be finished by May next year, five months ahead of the Fifa deadline, while renovations at Loftus Versfeld will be complete ahead of schedule in December 2008.

“The provincial government will ensure that we honour the commitments we have made to satisfy all Fifa’s requirements and meet the high expectations of people throughout the continent and the world,” she adds.

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