KZN govt puts its best foot forward to welcome Brazil and Portugal

2010-06-29 00:00

FUTURE hosts of the next Fifa World Cup, Brazil, have been given tips by the KwaZulu-Natal government on how to make a success of the biggest soccer showpiece in the world.

The game between Brazil and Portugal was used as a marketing tool to promote the province to the visitors, who were treated to lunch at the Playhouse Theatre before the match on Friday.

KZN Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize led the provincial government and local business leaders who were there to entice ambassadors, consuls and financiers from all over the world.

They were encouraged to share in the warmth and hospitality that has become the hallmark of pre-match festivities in Durban during the 2010 World Cup.

The premier extolled the virtues of KwaZulu-Natal to his guests, highlighting Durban as the gateway to South Africa.

He said, “In KZN we have Africa’s busiest port, the continent’s top conferencing city and the country’s leading tourist destination.

“I know that South Africa is a nice place; however I think that KZN is the nicest place in this country,” said Mkhize.

The honorary consul for Portugal in Durban, Tony de Souza, congratulated the Office of the Premier for the well appointed and organised pre-match functions.

“I am proud to live in a city and the province that is extending its hands of friendship to such a diverse range of visitors from all nations. Many of my countrymen are already considering returning in the near future,” he said.

Clovis Fernandes known in Brazil as the Gaucho da Copa (the cowboy of the World Cup), attended the event carrying his favourite toy, a replica of the World Cup trophy that he has over the years always carried to the stadium whenever Brazil is playing.

Fernandes is Brazil’s number one soccer fan, who has attended 116 World Cup soccer matches in his lifetime.

He said, “We are very happy to be here and we hope that our Brazillian soccer officials will learn a lot from this province and the country as a whole.”

To end the pre-match lunch, the guests were treated to a performance of Ingqayingqayi eAfrica — Splendour of the African Spirit, directed by MbongeniNgema at the Playhouse.

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