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A festival of Under-19 football has been announced for Cape Town this autumn...

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

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