Cape Town soccer fans are in for a treat towards the end of the year when the inaugural Cape Town Peace Cup will take place in the Mother City.
The tournament, which will feature four
local and four international Under-19 teams, was officially announced
at the Athlone Stadium on Thursday.
The organiser of the tournament is the
South African Peace Conference (SAPC) in cooperation with the Nobel
Peace Centre (Oslo, Norway) and the City of Cape Town.
International teams that will participate
include, Boca Juniors (Argentina), Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany), Chelsea
(England) and Stabaek (Norway).
The local teams will comprise of Orlando
Pirates, Santos, Ajax Cape Town and SuperSport United.
“We are honoured to have this calibre
of teams participating in this tournament,” said SAPC CEO, Kjetil
Siem at the press conference.
“The message of peace and harmony needs
to be spread across the world through every possible medium, and football
can play a huge part in ensuring this.”
When the Peace Cup kicks off, the Nobel
Peace Centre will also open its largest ever exhibition, in South Africa’s
National Gallery in Cape Town. The exhibition focuses on the four South
African Nobel Peace Prize Laureates – Albert Lutuli, Desmond Tutu,
Frederik W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela – and their importance for
the development of South Africa.
“Football can create a fellowship and
brotherhood that transcends national boundaries,” said Nobel Peace Centre director, Bente Erichsen at the launch of the competition.
“Amity between nations was important
for Albert Nobel, and it remains important for the Nobel Peace Centre
and the Peace Prize laureates.”
"This tournament is part of our ongoing
partnership between the City of Cape Town and the two local PSL (Premier Soccer League) clubs
Ajax Cape Town and Santos. The partnership has two elements: firstly
to promote soccer and life skills in our local communities, and secondly
to promote spectator attendance for local PSL soccer at Athlone Stadium.
"This tournament bring top class international teams to Cape Town every
two years. To have this connection with the South African Peace Conference
highlights the role soccer can play in uniting people throughout the
world and to combat prejudice," said Gert Bam, director of sport and recreation.
The tournament will kick off with the
official opening ceremony at the Green Point Stadium on November
26, 2009. The King and Queen of Norway, as well as a host of other dignitaries,
will be present for the ceremony in the morning.
Thereafter proceedings will move to Athlone
Stadium for the opening match.
Games will be played at Athlone Stadium,
Erica Park (Belhar)and Stephan Regan Stadium in Mitchells plain.
The official draw for the tournament
will take place October 8, 2009 in Olso, Norway.
Peter Pedroncelli, Goal.com