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Mega African soccer fest set for 2009 and 2010

Article Published: Friday 30 March 2007

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Its official! In 2009 and 2010 the world will be treated to a spectacular soccer experience in Africa, as FIFA announced Egypt and Nigeria would host world cup youth soccer tournaments in 2009.

FIFA's Executive Committee has agreed that in 2009, Egypt would host the FIFA under 20 World Cup and that Nigeria would host the FIFA under 17 World Cup.

The Nigerian government has already submitted the necessary guarantees to FIFA, assuring that it can host a successful event.

The exact dates in 2009 for both tournaments are yet to be announced.

"With South Africa hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup in the same year, it promises to be a busy one for the African continent, but also an extremely exciting one," the world football governing body said on its website.

Both Nigeria and Egypt have hosted FIFA junior events in the past. In 1997 Egypt hosted the U-17 World Cup, with Brazil, inspired by a young Ronaldinho emerging as the winners.

Nigeria hosted the U-20 event two years later. This time Spain took the laurels, with many of the stars of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany on display, including Esteban Cambiasso, Rafael Marquez, Xavi and the irrepressible Ronaldinho.

In 2010, South Africa will host the biggest soccer event of them all, the 2010 FIFA World Cup, set to take place at ten stadia in nine cities across the country.

Earlier this month, SAFA House, the newly built home of South Africa's 2010 FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee hosted its first lunch.

The building has been the home of both the South African Football Association (SAFA) and the LOC since February.

The structure in Johannesburg is meant for 250 staff members and acts as a base during the organisation and preparation phase of the World Cup.

Its construction began in November last year at the site of FNB Stadium in Nasrec, Johannesburg, which itself will host 2010 matches.

There will be five new stadia, and five existing stadia will be refurbished and upgraded for the world's most popular sporting event.

Three existing stadia in South Africa's major metropolis, Gauteng, will be upgraded. These are FNB stadium, Ellis Park in Johannesburg and Tshwane's Loftus Versfeld.

The Royal Bafokeng stadium in North West will be upgraded, as will Vodacom Park in Mangaung (Bloemfontein) in Free State province.

The five new stadia are Greenpoint in the Western Cape; the Peter Mokaba sports complex in Polokwane, Limpopo; a new venue at Mbombela in Mpumalanga; an arena in the Nelson Mandela Metro in the Eastern Cape and Kings Park stadium in the eThekwini Metro.
- BuaNews


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