Pretoria – South Africa will this week engage the world football governing body, FIFA, to finalise preparations for the staging of the much anticipated match between World Cup champions Spain and Africa XI.
Presenting his budget policy statement to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Parliament, Mbalula said: “This year in June, we will be marking the one year anniversary of hosting the most successful World Cup on African soil by staging a monumental match between Africa Eleven and the 2010 World Cup champions, Spain.
“This week we will be engaging with FIFA in Zurich to finalise the modalities of this integrated event, which will also include arts and culture.”
The match is aimed at thanking those who were responsible for the successful hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Earlier this year, Sport and Recreation ministry spokesperson, Paena Galane, said the date and venue had not yet been finalised.
Galane said Africa XI will be made up of great African players such as Ivory Coast and Chelsea star Didier Drogba, Inter Milan and Cameroon striker, Samuel Eto’o, as well as South Africa and Tottenham Hotspur sensational midfielder, Steven Pienaar.
However, it is not yet clear who will be coaching Africa XI when they take on the Spaniards.
Mbalula said after the successful hosting of the 2010 World Cup, there has been increasing interest in the potential of sport to generate investment and economic development in communities.
“This is an element of the Sport Economy which we are refining as we scientifically analyse the real contribution of sport in our gross domestic product.
“As part of our conceptual thesis of Sport Economy, sports are seen not as just games, but more of an economic imperative which contributes to economic growth, industry development, and sustainable livelihood.
“It has proven abilities, among others, to bind us together as a nation to increase our sports tourism and contribute to peace and development, to increase social and economic values as well as to enhance healthy and fulfilling lives,” he said. – BuaNews