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21.07.2005 Football News

Abedi to feature in the legends cup

Raymond Yeboah
Sports Abedi to feature in the legends cup

An array of former African football greats like George Weah, Abedi Pele, Roger Milla and Kalusha Bwalya will pit their skills against former European stars like Ruud Gullit, Eric Cantona and Gary Lineker at Ellis Park next year, it was announced on Tuesday.

The tournament will bring together some of the world's finest European and African soccer legends in one match, featuring past World-Cup stars including Ruud Gullit, Eric Cantona, Gary Lineker, Roberto Baggio, George Weah, Abedi Pele, Roger Milla, Aron Winter and Kalusha Bwalya.

The tournament is expected to capture the global soccer imagination through sheer scale, scope and spectacle. According to GTA Chief Executive Adv. Cawe Mahlati the event will bring Gauteng to the centre stage of yet another major global sporting event and endorse Gauteng as a top-of-mind, global sporting destination in run up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

Johan Van Geijn, European coordinator of the tournament, as well as Kalusha Bwalya and Aron Winter were present at the announcement on Tuesday.

The tournament will take place at Ellis Park Stadium Johannesburg on the 7th of January 2006 and will be broadcast live across the world to billions of soccer lovers and will bring Gauteng to a global audience.

It is anticipated that special travel packages will encourage visitors to come to Johannesburg for the tournament with major interest expected from the European and African continents.

Notable international sporting events that have successfully been hosted in Gauteng, include the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, the All Africa Games in 1998, the 1995 Rugby World Cup Final and the Formula 1 Grand Prix in 1993.

According to Grant Thornton the SA 2010 Soccer World Cup Bid will lead to direct expenditure of R 12,7 billion and will contribute R 21,3 billion to the GDP of South Africa. In this light, the GTA has identified global sporting spectaculars, such as the Legends Tournament, as a core focus area in its destination marketing strategy.

“These events are catalytic for our industry; they assist in aligning our destination with global sporting spectaculars, generate huge media interest, attract visitors from core growth markets and showcase our world-class tourism and hospitality infrastructure. With Legends, Gauteng will yet again proudly grace the world stage as a global home of competitive sport,” said Mahlati.