Brazil's Botafogo joins the title challenge for a week of world class football action at the Gauteng Future Champions International under 17 tournament
15 Jan 2010
Powerhouse football club Botafogo will become the second Brazilian team is as many seasons to put in a challenge for the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation’s Gauteng Future Champions international under 17 tournament in Soweto, when the second edition of the tournament takes place in Soweto near Johannesburg from 25 to 30 January.
The Rio de Janeiro based club will follow in the footsteps of Brazilian club Corinthians, who participated in last year’s event, in which fellow South American side Boca Juniors from Argentina, beat Tunisia’s Esperance two goals to nil in the showpiece final.
Botafogo will have to contest with top international youth teams in Dublin District Schoolboy League (Ireland), Paris Saint-Germain (France), DC United (United States of America), Shandong Luneng (China), and line ups from India and Tunisia with the race for honours expected to be tougher than before.
Along with local sides in Supersport United (Gauteng under 17 cup winners), Kaizer Chiefs (Gauteng under 17 cup runners up), South African Football Association (SAFA) Tshwane select (Gauteng under 17 cup regional winners) and SAFA Johannesburg select (Gauteng under 17 cup regional runners up), the week long tournament has all the ingredients of producing an appetising world class youth football mix.
Gauteng MEC for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Ms Nelisiwe Mbatha-Mtimkulu said: “Brazil like South Africa and the other African teams, are known to produce attacking diski-style football and along with our associates from the South African Football Association, we are delighted to host an event of this magnitude in the heart of our sports loving Gauteng province.
“Gauteng is the “Gateway to 2010” and as our province and country prepares to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the name of Africa, we look forward to kicking off this important year of football in the best way possible, by focusing on the youth who hold the key to the future of the Beautiful Game.”
Upon accepting the invitation to compete in the tournament, Botafogo President Mauricio Assumpção Junior said: “Botafogo’s under 17 team will be achieving a dream by not only competing in the Gauteng Future Champions international under 17 tournament in Gauteng in the host country of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but also to be able to match their football skills against some of the best players in the world in their age group.”
“From a club perspective, we are delighted to have been invited to compete in this event and look forward to our matches as well as seeing some of the attractions that Gauteng and South Africa has to offer,” he added.
Among the attractions that the international teams will visit during their stay, will be the recently upgraded Soccer City stadium which will play host to the opening match and grand finale of the 2010 FIFA World Cu. The Gauteng Future Champions under 17 tournament will see the 12 teams divided into three groups. After the round-robin matches between the teams in each group have been completed, the top side in each pool plus the best on-points second placed team from the three pools will contest the semi-finals matches, in a bid to decide which teams will take part in the tournament final on 30 January.
The coaches of the international teams will also get an opportunity to address local coaches from the Gauteng regions, in order to pass on elements of their football coaching knowledge as well as their football experiences, which will play a role in empowering the Gauteng coaches to educate rising talent in the province.
For further information, please contact:
Cell: 083 507 8068
Issued by: Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Gauteng Provincial Government
15 January 2010
Source: Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Gauteng Provincial Government (http://www.srac.gpg.gov.za/)
Issued by: Gauteng Provincial Government
15 Jan 2010
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